Greater efforts are needed if we are to achieve the
Sustainable Development Goals. This was the sobering conclusion of the UN’s SDG
progress report released this month as part of the annual High-Level Political
Forum (HLPF). In the report and at the HLPF in New York, we heard what many of us know
all too well: household and ambient air pollution are the greatest
environmental health risks; women can’t reach their fullest potential while
spending triple the amount of time on unpaid duties such as cooking and fuel gathering
as men; and more must be done to promote clean cooking’s benefits and encourage
increased investment and financing across the sector.
Despite the report’s assessment, the HLPF left me energized.
Challenges remain ahead, but a shift has taken place around clean cooking.
Addressing this issue has become a “must do” on the global priority list. We’re
no longer a periphery issue pushed only by those of us in the cookstoves and
fuels community. Leaders and advocates working on global health, women’s
empowerment, climate, and the environment see clean cooking as critical to
achieving their own goals. The mainstreaming of clean cooking beyond traditional
actors will be a major focus for this year’s Clean Cooking Forum in October in
India, and I encourage you to join the discussions to see how we can continue
working together to deliver impact across a wide range of development issues.
I also close with a sincere thank you to all of you who have
already shared your 2016 distribution results with us. This data we compile
each year is the main mechanism the Alliance uses to track self-reported
progress and growth in the cookstoves and fuels sector. For those who haven't
already submitted your information, I invite you to visit the survey online as
soon as possible before the deadline closes next month.
Our work continues,