Burning opportunity: clean household energy for health, sustainable development, and wellbeing of women and children
Household air pollution is the single most important environmental health risk worldwide, and women and children are at particularly high risk from exposure. This global report provides new data on the still-pervasive use of polluting fuels for home cooking, lighting and heating, as well as an in-depth look at the impacts on women and children. Despite more than a decade of work to reduce domestic air pollution sources, progress toward universal access to clean cooking fuels remains far too slow. Almost 3.1 billion people still rely on polluting, inefficient energy systems such as biomass, coal or kerosene to meet their daily cooking needs – a number virtually unchanged over the past decade. And too many households still depend on polluting fuels and devices for heating and lighting – particularly kerosene. For instance, almost half of all African households across the 25 countries surveyed rely primarily upon highly-polluting kerosene lamps, while about 30% of households surveyed in South-East Asia use kerosene lights. Conversely, solar powered lights still have very low uptake (1% or less) in many countries.