The successful creation this week of 250,000 Gold Standard (GS) carbon credits from cookstoves is a landmark in the use of carbon finance to support very large scale efforts to tackle emissions, poverty, ill health and environmental damage. 

Oxford, UK and Nairobi, Kenya (7 February, 2012):  ClimateCare has worked with its on the-ground-partner, Enterprise Works, to develop and provide funding for the Gyapa  efficient cookstove project in Ghana that has so far reduced a quarter of a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (demonstrated by this issuance of verified tonnes under the GS), helping to save over 200,000 tonnes worth of fuelwood so easing pressure on deforestation, whilst cutting drastically the dangerous indoor air pollution in homes that cause such deadly health impacts for mothers and children, and also stimulating local job creation.

“We are delighted that our Ghana cookstoves project has been so successful, demonstrated by achieving Gold Standard accreditation at such a significant scale – ClimateCare helped open up carbon funding to cookstoves and we believe this is just the start of what we can achieve in tackling climate change and poverty together through intelligent carbon and development  finance.” said ClimateCare’s Director Edward Hanrahan.

This issuance marks a key point in the development of the project:  funding provided to support increased production of the stove, improved quality control, a national advertising campaign and better distribution has born fruit with growth of sales from around 10,000 stoves in 2008 to over 75,000 in 2011.  The emissions reductions from the stoves have been measured and verified through the Gold Standard accreditors, who are backed by WWF and recognised as one of the highest quality standards in the carbon market.

“The issuance of these Gyapa Cookstove credits shows that the project has already gone through the Gold Standard’s rigorous certification process – the most robust and ethical in the carbon market. Gyapa is a great example of a project in which community benefits are actively designed into an activity at the outset, and subject to monitoring, reporting and verification, something that The Gold Standard uniquely insists upon,” said Adrian Rimmer, Gold Standard Foundation CEO.

The story began with the methodology for measuring and verifying emissions reduction from cookstoves written by ClimateCare – ‘Improved Cookstoves and Kitchen Regimes’ – published in 2008 by Gold Standard as the blueprint giving the opportunity for any eligible cookstove programme to access carbon finance.  ClimateCare then applied this to a cookstove project in Uganda, achieving the first cookstove GS credits in the world, issued in 2010.  With issuance from the Ghana project, ClimateCare has now helped deliver the world’s largest single block of verified emission reductions from cookstoves.

Sale of the Gold Standard credits from the Ghana stoves is exclusively through ClimateCare, and those companies and individuals purchasing them are ultimately providing the crucial revenue for the project. (See below for more details).

Focus on the importance of clean cookstoves is growing.  “Could the humble cooking stove be the next big idea to save millions of lives in poor countries” asked The Economist ( September 2011).  The United Nation Foundation has launched a global campaign – Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves – aimed at getting ‘100 million homes to adopt clean cookstoves by 2020’ through developing sustainable local markets.  The key metric is the amount of time stoves are used for, rather than the number produced, and the Ghana project alone is projected to deliver over 1,000,000 ‘operational stove years’ by 2014.

Pneumonia is the biggest killer of children in the world, with indoor pollution from smoky open fires and poor quality stoves being a leading cause – switching to an efficient cookstove is the single most effective way to reduce the health risk to mothers and children from this horrible disease.  This milestone in the Ghana project shows the significant scale at which intelligent carbon finance can help to combat leading global health challenges.

ClimateCare has recently adapted the GS methodology to water filters – which can replace boiling of water to purify it and so cut fuel wood use – to help transform the scale of clean water provision. Building on the success of the Gyapa project, in transitioning cookstoves from small scale to large scale projects, in 2011 ClimateCare was instrumental in the ‘Carbon For Water’ programme, both one of the world’s largest clean water interventions (providing over 3.5 million Kenyans with microbially pure water) and one of the largest emissions reduction projects (2million tonnes CO2e reduced per year).