Deforestation

Switching 100 households from consuming 200 tonnes of harvested wood a year to 1.8 tonnes of LPG would annually save one hectare of forest.

240 million households converted to LPG could save 2.37 million hectares of forest, equivalent to 46% of annual net global deforestation.

A developing world household consumes two tonnes of wood per year which is the equivalent of approximately ten trees.

Some 540 million households around the world use biomass to fuel their cooking. Perhaps half of these use wood intentionally harvested for fuel that could be used for other purposes or simply left standing, while the other half use residues such as dung, rice husks or sticks.

Cooking For Life – The Great Green Wall

An 8,000 km new world wonder is being planted across the entire width of the African Continent to transform the lives of millions.

Cooking For Life – Deforestation

Collecting firewood for cooking is a major cause of deforestation but things are changing between 800 million and 2 billion people could switch from traditional cooking with wood to other fuels, such as LPG, by 2030.

Effects:

Using wood as a coking fuel at a large scale causes:

Emissions

Desertification

habitat endangerment

(reduction of biodiversity)

impairment of social amenity

soil erosion

In much of the developing world, harvested trees dos not even grow back, slowly or otherwise. As the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation points out in its latest ‘Global Forest Resources Assessment’ of 2010, deforestation is continuing its centuries-long march.

According to the International Energy Agency, somewhere between 800 million and two billion people will switch from traditional cooking with wood to other fuels (such as LPG) over the 2015-30 period.

LPG is far more energy concentrated than wood: annual per capita cooking requires 43 kg instead of 400 kg of wood.

LPG transfers 50% of its energy content to the pot, compared to wood’s 10-20%.

Unlike wood, an LPG fire can easily be turned on and off. Instead of emitting choking smoke, its exhaust is problem-free for indoor use. These advantages lead to improved wealth and health.

Switching 100 households from consuming 200 tonnes of harvested wood a year to consume instead 21.5 tonnes of LPG would save one hectare of forest each year. Each household would save about 100 square metres of forest.

Switching from wood to LPG can reduce cooking’s carbon emissions significantly. In the tropics, where much traditional cooking happens, switching cuts net-CO2 output to the atmosphere by 60%.

If the 2015-30 swap away from wood, as forecast by the IEA, went to LPG, it would prevent deforestation for much the same reasons as it would reduce net carbon emissions. It could save 800 thousand to two million hectares/year of forest a year, 16-40% of the current deforestation globally.

Wood consists of 50% fuel. The rest is molecularly-bound oxygen plus left-over moisture. Neither of these burns, and vaporising the moisture wastes energy. LPG, by contrast, is all fuel. Per unit of delivered cooking heat, burning wood generates about five times the carbon of LPG.

Supplying this wood demands the annual harvest of 2.37 million hectares of forest. If this were instead supplied by an equivalent amount of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), 43 million tonnes, 2.4 million hectares of forest would be spared annually.