Clinton to unveil US funds for clean cookstove push

Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:46am GMT
 

* Alliance includes Shell, Morgan Stanley, governments

* 1.9 million deaths annually related to stove pollution

By Jeff Mason

NEW YORK, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will announce on Tuesday a U.S. contribution of more than $50 million toward providing clean cooking stoves in developing countries to reduce deaths from smoke inhalation and fight climate change.

The U.S. funding, which will be spread over five years, is part of a Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves being started to combat a problem officials equate with malaria and unclean water in terms of their health impact worldwide.

Some 1.9 million premature deaths, mostly among women and young children, occur every year due to smoke inhalation from rudimentary stoves, which in many cases consist of a few stones and an open fire inside or outside a shelter, officials said.

Smoke from such cooking methods can lead to childhood pneumonia, lung cancer, bronchitis and cardiovascular disease while contributing to climate change through emissions of carbon dioxide and methane -- two major greenhouse gases -- and black carbon.

The new alliance to combat the issue groups U.S. government agencies with the United Nations Foundation, Germany, Peru, Norway, the World Health Organization and corporate backers including Morgan Stanley and Shell, among others.

"This is something that touches on climate, on health, on women's empowerment, on deforestation and on poverty," Reid Detchon, vice president for energy and climate at the United Nations Foundation, said in an interview.   Continued...

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