The following have been presented to policy makers on behalf of Solar Cookers International Network members. SCInet members are encouraged to share other useful resolutions or advocacy statements. Please identify to whom it has been presented and in whose name.
Health Resolution (SCIA 2007)
Approved by general assembly in Granada, Spain, 14 July, 2007
Fuel for Life The heart of the issue of having better quality of life is health. Clean fuel is a prerequisite for good health. Solar energy is clean fuel. We recognize the urgency to implement solar cooking projects in order to address these key health issues:
- Reduce exposure to indoor air pollution caused by burning biomass.
- Reduce water-borne diseases (especially in children less than 5 years old), by heating contaminated water in a solar cooker to 65oC, which pasteurizes the water.
- Reduce the physical burden of women and children of collecting and carrying wood for cooking.
- Reduce the threat of attack to women and children who collect wood.
- Reduce family expenditures on fuels, to enable purchase of more food.
- Enable disabled persons to cook safely.
- Enhance nutrition.
- Enhance food security.
Therefore, as a strategy to improve quality of life in the areas of greatest need, and in agreement with the guiding principles noted above, we the participants of the SOLAR COOKING and FOOD PROCESSING CONFERENCE of 2006 in Granada Spain resolve to:
- Know the key health issues solar cooking and food processing address.
- Know possible interventions.
- Advocate implementation of these interventions by informing and educating - government officials, institutions, NGO’s, public awareness activities and others
- Do a solar cooking activity focused on these health issues.
Reducing the Effects of a Silent Killer: Solar Cookers & Indoor Air Pollution (SCI)
The health effects of exposure to indoor air pollution are becoming widely known. Smoke from cooking fires accounts for the majority of this exposure. The stark facts are shocking: About a third of the world’s population, some 2.4 billion people, rely on wood, animal dung, crop residues, and charcoal for domestic energy needs. Exposure to smoky fires kills 1.6 million people, predominantly women and children, each year – in developing countries, women spend three to seven hours a day exposed to cooking smoke, often with young children nearby. Smoky fires result in debilitating health conditions such as chronic bronchitis, enphysema and lung cancer and is linked to asthma, tuberculosis, low birth weight, infant mortality, and cataracts.
As wood supplies dwindle, many poor families tend to move down the energy ladder, to lower-grade cooking fuels that generate more smoke, such as green wood, crop residues, dung, twigs, and grasses. Solar cookers are one of the few cooking modern cooking technologies that make use of a largely untapped, clean, renewable energy source. They provide a smoke-free cooking alternative for families in areas of abundant sun. Data from projects around the world indicates solar cookers reduce fuelwood consumption by an average of one-third – equivalent to one tonne of wood per year.
Solar cooks can:
- Participate in income generating and other tasks while their food cooks in a panel or box cooker
- Reintroduce fuel consuming, nutritious foods such as beans, stews, and root vegetables into their diets
- Save biomass fuels for when it is cloudy, rainy, night or early morning
- Maximize their savings by using their solar cookers with improved stoves, retained-heat cookers, and other improved cooking devices
- Use free solar energy to heat drinking water to temperatures sufficient to kill waterborne pathogens
Today, there are over two million solar cookers in use world-wide. Scale-up of solar cooker dissemination is urgently needed to save lives, improve health and break the cycle of energy poverty for over half a billion people.
Carbon Credits(SCIA 2006)
Text of letter to José Domingos Miguez, Chairperson,CDM Executive Board,
UNFCCC Cooperative Mechanism Program, PO Box 260124 D-53153, Bonn, Germany
Granada, Spain, 14th July 2006
Dear Mr. Domingos Miguez, dear Members of the Executive Board,
Solar Cookers International (consultative status UN ECOSOC) and the TERRA Foundation of Barcelona have sponsored the Solar Cooking and Food Processing International Conference, Granada, July 12 –16, where this document has been unanimously approved by resolution:
The Conference has recognised with pleasure that a first CDM project on solar cookers has been
registered by UNFCCC. This is a positive successful example of public – private partnership, having the potential to be expanded for even greater impact in the future. However, the Conference is deeply concerned by changes in the methodology which will affect future
projects saving non-renewable biomass. This change indicates that the use of non-renewable biomass
will no longer be permitted as a baseline technology, as was the case in the first CDM solar cooker project.
Furthermore, the Conference has recognised that the CDM Small Scale Working Group has submitted a
proposal for calculating the emission reduction based on a hypothetical switch from non-renewable
biomass to fossil fuel. But this proposed baseline would discourage further CDM projects based on solar cookers, as it allows only about 25% of the savings based on the real baseline, according to ISO14064-2. In seeking the way forward, the Conference endorses the submission of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) for the meeting of the UNFCCC CDM Executive Board on July 19-21, 2006 (see letter attached). This IETA submission proposes an alternative baseline which would safeguard, in the interim, the feasibility of CDM projects based on solar cookers. The Conference, therefore, asks the Board to approve this submission.
However, the Conference wants to emphasize that a full recognition of non-renewable biomass should be
considered as a long-term objective, and requests UNFCCC to take the necessary steps to overcome the
still existing hurdles.”
Beverly Blum, Executive Director, Solar Cookers International
Jordi Miralles, President, Terra Foundation
Marta Pahissa, Director, 2006 International Solar Cookers Conference
Millennium Development Goals (SCI 2005)
Solar Cookers Support all Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
In its publication, Fuel for Life, The World Health Organization notes “There is no Millennium Development Goal on energy. Yet energy poverty is one the many manifestations of poverty…Lack of energy, in particular lack of access to modern cooking fuels and electricity, already represents a bottleneck, holding back progress towards achieving the goals.” Wide access to solar cookers that use free sunlight for cooking and for water pasteurizing is an inexpensive ‘quick win’ with immediate gains that save lives. Solar cooking and water pasteurizing is smoke-free, saves time for productive agricultural work and consumes no dung and crop residues needed by the soil.
- Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger: Solar cookers typically reduce fuel needs by 1/3 and simple solar cookers pay for themselves in two months of fuel savings. Wood is scarce for two billion people, and about half live in sun-rich areas. The gentler temperatures of solar cookers also preserve more nutrients.
- Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education: Long journeys to gather small brush, crop residues and dung for cooking fuel take time from school attendance and studies. Solar cookers need only sunlight, freeing children to spend more time in school.
- Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women: Women and girls suffer extra health hazards of gathering fuel and indoor smoke from cooking. Solar cooks experience improved health and have more time to pursue education, increase food production and carry out
- Goal 4: Reduce child mortality: Solar cookers reduce waterborne and smoke-related diseases, primary killers of children.
- Goal 5: Improve maternal health: Smoke from cooking fires is the major killer of young women in developing countries and is also linked to low-birth weight and
- Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases: Caring for a sick family member and orphans takes time away from livelihood activities. Solar cookers cook meals unattended, and are user-friendly for children and the sick as well as for care-givers. Water pasteurization protects whole families. Larger solar cookers can sanitize materials in rural
clinics and households.
- Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability: One-third of humanity has only wood, charcoal or poor substitutes to cook daily meals. A solar cooker that can save about one ton of wood per year will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.8 tons per year.
- Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development: Solar cookers complement other development and household energy programs.