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Prestigious UN Award for WLPGA Member Low Smoke Stoves Project

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has awarded prestigious ‘Lighthouse Project’ status to Carbon Clear and Practical Action’s Darfur Low-Smoke Stoves Project in Sudan, in recognition of the project’s benefits for poor urban communities and contribution to climate change mitigation.

The Darfur Low-Smoke Stoves Project, launched in 2007 as a collaboration between Carbon Clear and Practical Action, a UK-based NGO, demonstrates how carbon finance can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve livelihoods in an area of Sudan where conflict, climate change, drought and desertification are already a fact of life.

Lighthouse Projects are part of the UN’s Momentum for Change initiative which aims to highlight action on climate change through grass roots projects that also demonstrate wider economic, social and environmental issues. Through schemes such as the Darfur Low-Smoke Stove Project, Momentum for Change aims to show that climate action is achievable and economically attractive, encouraging decision makers and the public to support immediate and ambitious climate action.

The Low-Smoke Stoves Project creates an opportunity for families in North Darfur to replace their traditional wood and charcoal fires with modern, energy efficient and clean-burning LPG cookstoves.  According to the World Health Organization, indoor smoke from burning solid fuels can expose women and young children to pollution 100 times higher than acceptable levels.  WLPGA observer member The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves notes that cooking with LP Gas reduces most key pollutants by over 95%, and reduces energy consumption by 50%-70%.

Participating households sign up to a microfinance initiative funded by Carbon Clear and managed by a local community group, the Women’s Development Association Network. The microfinance programme provides loans for families who otherwise would not be able to afford the relatively high initial cost of the LPG stoves and canisters. Repayment rates are in excess of 90%. Carbon Clear recovers its project investment costs through the sale of carbon credits.

Mark Chadwick, CEO of Carbon Clear said: “We are honoured that the Darfur Low Smoke Stoves project has been recognised by the UNFCCC as a Lighthouse Project. The programme delivers multiple, tangible benefits to communities that are directly impacted by climate change every day and is a fantastic example of how a collaborative initiative can reduce GHG emissions as well as having other health, economic and environmental benefits.”

Paul Smith Lomas, International Director, Practical Action said: “Practical Action are delighted to be receiving this important award on behalf of the community of El Fasher, Sudan and the Women’s Development Association Network. Too many people still don’t know that smoke is a bigger killer of women and children in developing countries than malaria. In Sudan thousands of women and children have benefitted from this project and now have a home which is virtually smoke free. But it is also recognition of the fact that clean cook stoves in their own right can make an important contribution in the fight against climate change, which like smoke also impacts most on the poorest people”.

The project has proven popular with low-income households, and the project team has plans to replicate the model elsewhere in the country to bring the benefits of clean energy to tens of thousands more families. In partnership with Practical Action, Carbon Clear aims to deliver 10,000 cookstoves to the communities of El Fasher, Sudan, which will save over 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over 10 years.

WLPGA has produced an Exceptional Energy Case Study on the project which can be accessed at www.exceptionalenergy.com (https://www.wlpga.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/bringing-low-smoke-cookstoves-to-darfur-sudan.pdf

For more information contact Rachel Hunger, Communications Manager, Carbon Clear (rhunter@carbon-clear.com)