Woman in a kitchen standing next to an electric cooker

Image credit: Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC)

New coalition seeks to accelerate access to clean electric cooking

Replacing traditional biomass-burning cookstoves with electricity could stop hundreds of preventable deaths and significantly benefit the climate, according to a new coalition involving Loughborough University advocating for a significant scale-up of access to clean energy across the world.

The Global Electric Cooking Coalition (GeCCo) - comprised of the Loughborough-led Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS), Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), Energising Development (EnDev), and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll) - brings together experts and advocates from across the world to address the need to reduce carbon outputs generated by traditional cooking methods.

Over a third of the world's population still rely on traditional polluting fuels and technologies for cooking. Cooking with solid fuels, such as wood or charcoal, releases an estimated gigaton of CO2 every year - as much as the global aviation industry - and accounts for around 2% of the world's CO2 emissions.

Using traditional fuels for cooking also carries significant health risks and leads to almost three million premature deaths each year, with women and children the worst affected.

Professor Ed Brown, Research Director for MECS, said: "If current trends continue, nearly a quarter of the world's people, mostly in low- and middle-income countries, will still lack access to clean cooking fuels in 2030 - falling short of the UN's SDG 7 target.

Cooking with electricity offers a promising, scalable, and sustainable alternative - an accelerated adoption is not only necessary, but also urgent if we are not to fall further behind in addressing global demands for affordable and sustainable access to modern cooking."

A key ambition for the coalition is to enable a mass transition to electric cooking for over 10% of households in at least ten countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean by 2030.

Supported by a wider membership of partners, the coalition will work alongside with other global and national initiatives to provide guidance, leadership, integration and knowledge that is exclusively focused on the rapid global scaling of electric cooking.

The new coalition will be introduced at an event held at the African Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday 6 September.

The summit - which brings together leaders from governments, businesses, international organisations and civil society to explore ways to combat climate change - will include contributions from Professor Brown and the MECS team, as well as wider coalition partners. 

The MECS programme is led by the Sustainable Transitions: Energy, Environment and Resilience Centre (STEER) within the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Loughborough University.

Further information regarding project streams, ongoing activities and details of coalition membership, can be found here.