One of our carbon offset projects in Africa is an efficient cookstove project in Uganda. This initiative drives down emissions, fosters better and fights poverty. This is necessary: almost 3 billion people in the world cook daily over an open fire or on simple wood and/or charcoal stoves. When burned, charcoal and wood release toxins, smoke and climate change-inducing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. Almost two million people die annually from illnesses caused by inhaling smoke from cooking fires. Searching for wood, inefficient cooking and health problems take time away from finding work outside the house raising children. Finally, children are required to help out in the house at the expense of going to school and being young.
In Uganda, 94% of rural households cook on an open fire whilst urban households tend to rely on inefficient charcoal stoves. These methods of cooking have a direct impact on deforestation and climate change. Deforestation is responsible for numerous issues such as soil losing its water retention capacity, which causes soil erosion leading to a negative impact on agriculture. Poor families in Uganda spend up to 15% of their income on charcoal or wood. Searching for wood can take approximately 6 hours per daytime that could be spent finding paid work. All of these factors contribute to the severity of the poverty situation in Uganda.
This initiative, as one of our carbon offset projects in Africa, aims to fight climate change and improve the lives of local people. In partnership with local communities, efficient charcoal stoves have been developed and made accessible to the poorest households. The production and sale of these stoves take place all over Uganda, where it is making a positive impact socially and environmentally through job creation and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The project currently supports a large network of local entrepreneurs in setting up sustainable supply chains. Regular marketing campaigns are carried out to create awareness and stimulate demand for efficient charcoal stoves. Income from carbon credit sales is invested in the project to upscale it and give more people in the local communities access to the stoves.
Climate Neutral Group is working with the charcoal stove project by investing in the production of charcoal stoves. We are proud of this Gold Standard project, one of the socially responsible projects that you can invest in to offset your impact on the climate.
¹ WHO ² Uganda Bureau of Statistics, 2010 ³ Godfrey et al, 2009