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At COP27: Scaling up clean and modern cooking solutions in Africa to raise the climate ambition

The lack of clean cooking solutions is a global challenge affecting over four billion people and almost 900 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa. The COP27 side event ‘Clean cooking around the world’ highlighted the climate, health, economic and social benefits of clean cooking.

The side event organised by Nefco – the Nordic Green Bank – and the Nordic Council of Ministers on 11 November 2022 brought together experts to discuss the development of the clean cooking sector and its linkages to climate goals.

Sophie Odupoy,Group Head of Public Affairs at KOKO Networks, explained the challenge currently facing several African countries. A large number of people use firewood for cooking, which leads to, for example, deforestation and health problems from indoor air pollution. As large forest areas have already have been felled, girls are sent by their mothers to collect firewood even further away, which can lead to them risking their lives and not using their time productively for school or studying.

KOKO Networks’ mission is to protect the African tropical forests by building renewable energy facilities and enable a transition by bringing together technology to support changing the whole value chain and make bio-ethanol fuel more affordable; infrastructure to transport the bio-ethanol fuel; and capital and policy to try to get governments onboard to provide a framework for investors. Odupoy highlighted the need to speed up efforts and to be willing to listen to everyone to enable the acceleration of clean cooking solutions in several countries.

During the discussion, Ash Sharma,Vice President and Head of Modern Cooking Facility for Africa (MCFA) at Nefco, explained that “MCFA is an instrument supporting the private sector through results-based funding and by de-risking market expansion for the funded companies.” The facility also supports the implementation of innovative business models, which are not yet used in the clean cooking space, and helps to provide more rural customers with clean cooking equipment. However, the challenge is to make the available cooking equipment affordable for all, and a transformation of the market is therefore needed.

Mattias Frumerie, Chief Negotiator of Sweden, explained that to be able to raise ambition and take countries forward and tied to the climate negotiations, it is important to explore the available solutions, such as clean cooking. The first donor to MCFA, Sweden, sees the policy aspect as crucial to support countries to become more ambitious when it comes to climate actions and is working from a climate diplomacy angle, where policy, finance and technology are all needed.

In addition, MCFA participated in events related to financing low-carbon cooking arranged by MECS, part of the Climate Compatible Growth Programme side event, and related to the transformation to eCooking arranged at the SDG7 pavilion by MECS and SEforALL.

Nefco, together with Sweden, launched the Modern Cooking Facility for Africa (MCFA) programme in spring 2022 with the aim of scaling up access to affordable and modern clean cooking solutions in six Sub-Saharan African countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The aim is to provide 3 million Africans with access to clean cooking solutions. The programme will also have a large positive health and environmental impact by mitigating deforestation and avoiding CO2 emissions, and increasing economic growth in the project countries.

For further information

See our event recording on Nefco’s YouTube channel

For more information, please contact:

Ash Sharma, Vice President of Special Funds at Nefco
Ash.sharma@nefco.int, +358 10 618 06 53

Lia Oker-Blom, Senior Communications Officer at Nefco
lia.oker-blom@nefco.int, +358 10 618 06 71

Published: November 29, 2022
Reading time 4 minutes
  • Clean Cooking
  • COP27
  • MCFA
  • Modern Cooking Facility for Africa
  • UN Climate Change Conference

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