IAS Visiting Fellow Heather Adair-Rohani delivers a seminar on their research, fully titled 'Leveraging the health argument as a driver for evidence-based multisectoral action on clean cooking in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC)'
Worldwide, nearly three billion people rely on traditional solid fuels and technologies for cooking and heating. This has severe implications for health, gender relations, livelihoods, environmental quality and global and local climates. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), household air pollution from cooking with traditional solid fuels contributes to three to four million premature deaths every year – more than malaria and tuberculosis combined. Women and children are disproportionally affected by health impacts, and bear much of the burden of collecting firewood or other traditional fuels.
In this joint lecture hosted by the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) and the Loughborough Centre for Sustainable Transitions: Energy, Environment and Resilience (STEER) as part of the IAS Breathe annual theme of events, IAS Visiting Fellow Heather Adair-Rohani, who leads the work on energy and health at the WHO, will outline the health burden of biomass based cooking practices and highlight some of the policy and programmatic challenges of achieving clean cooking in the past. Solutions for overcoming these challenges will be shared, emphasizing the importance of intersectoral collaboration between the health, clean cooking and sustainable development sectors in order to catalyse modern energy access policy development and implementation referencing.
The need and role of evidence-based normative guidance for all sectors to drive policy and effective implementation of clean cooking on the ground will be highlighted. The ongoing collaboration between WHO and STEER via the UK Aid (FCDO) funded Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme will be highlighted, which brings together intersectoral collaboration in the health, clean cooking and sustainable development sectors to drive progress in scaling access to modern energy cooking services, with an emphasis on clean, electric cooking. Examples of WHO and Health and Energy Platform of Action (HEPA) activities will be given to highlight the importance of building shared capacity and information resources to shape and harmonize programmatic decision making across sectors and ministries in countries to ensure and maximise the benefits of clean cooking energy transitions. The need for coordination politically and technically, and the role of HEPA in framework of the SDGs and beyond will be highlighted using examples of coordinated outputs from HEPA for clean cooking.
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