The use of open fires and traditional cookstoves and fuels is one of the world's most pressing health and environmental problems. Globally, 3 billion people rely on solid fuels to cook, causing serious environmental and health impacts that disproportionally affect women and children. Household air pollution from cooking kills over 4 million people every year and sickens millions more.
Yet, safe, affordable, and accessible clean cooking solutions exist. Their adoption can dramatically reduce fuel consumption and exposure to harmful cookstove smoke, while providing economic opportunities in communities across low- and middle-income countries. More efficient cookstoves and fuels also reduce the time people, usually girls and women, spend collecting wood, crop waste, and other fuel sources. The clean cookstove and fuel supply chain is already providing economic opportunity and spurring job creation at the local level.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is working with 1,000 partners around the world to build a thriving market for clean cookstoves and fuels and increase investment in the sector. At the Alliance, we believe in a market-based approach that brings together the assets of the public and private sectors to ensure positive financial, social, and environmental returns and allow us to address household air pollution at scale.
During Phase 1, the Alliance and its partners have helped over 20 million households adopt cleaner and more efficient cookstoves and fuels. These clean cooking solutions have helped save tens of thousands of lives, protected millions of trees in vulnerable ecosystems, and created hundreds of thousands of jobs.
In Phase 2, the Alliance will build upon its early momentum and success to ensure that we reach our goal of 100 million households adopting clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. We will further catalyze markets and spur adoption by designing transformational global, national, and community-based public awareness campaigns that underscore the multifaceted problem and promote sustainable behavior change. We will continue work to ensure a steady infusion of capital for innovation, production, distribution, and consumer financing mechanisms that enable greater purchase and adoption of clean cooking solutions by those who need them most. In addition, we will bolster large-scale research efforts, national and international standards processes, labeling and certification of cookstoves, and enterprise and NGO capacity-building to create a thriving marketplace capable of reaching the last mile.
Success depends on the work of influencers, donors, investors, and implementers like you. Our partners have shown serious commitment, seen groundbreaking results, and experienced high returns on investment in Phase 1. Now it's time to reinvest at scale to achieve tangible, widespread outcomes in our lifetimes. Join us in making a public commitment to clean cooking solutions and help fuel markets worldwide to bring life-saving and life-changing improvements to millions of people around the world.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership hosted by the UN Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The Alliance is working with its public, private, and non-profit partners to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production, deployment, and use of clean cookstoves and fuels in developing countries.