Cookstoves, human health, and climate change

A study models the effects of reducing cookstove emissions on climate and human health during the 21st century. Cooking with solid fuels produces emissions that reduce air quality, lead to premature deaths, and influence climate. Comprehensive evaluations of the potential benefits of replacing solid fuel cookstoves with clean cookstoves on local and national scales have not been conducted. Using a combination of atmospheric modeling, remote sensing, and sensitivity analyses, Forrest Lacey and colleagues assessed how a 20-year phased termination of cookstoves would alter climate and human mortality through 2100 for 101 countries with significant cookstove usage. The authors found that reducing cookstove emissions in China, India, and Ethiopia could have a larger effect on global surface temperatures by 2050 than halting emissions in other countries. Several countries such as Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, which are often overlooked for cookstove interventions, have large per cookstove effect on climate, likely due to black carbon transport to the Arctic or over snow. Furthermore, global cookstove abatement could cool surface temperatures by approximately 77 mK by 2050 and 118 mK by 2100, and prevent approximately 22.5 million premature deaths between 2000 and 2100 owing to improved ambient air quality. According to the authors, the findings may help evaluate climate and ambient health impacts of current and future cookstove interventions. - Read at PNAS.org

Article #16-12430: “Transient climate and ambient health impacts due to national solid fuel cookstove emissions,” by Forrest G. Lacey, Daven K. Henze, Colin J. Lee, Aaron van Donkelaar, and Randall V. Martin.