Serious research on improved cookstoves dates back to the 1950s. However, large-scale field programs focused largely on the inefficiency of designs. While the stoves may appear simple, the socio-cultural systems in which they operate, and their impacts on so many aspects of household and regional health and economics, is far from simple. Many approaches have been tried, with some successes and many failures.
Over the last few years, a more complete view of the full human and environmental health impacts of indoor air pollution and the global impact of the fuel and stove cycle has emerged. Poorly managed fuel systems encourage use of unsustainably harvested fuel such as charcoal produced from illegal and ecologically damaging informal production network.
To look at the impacts on women, one logical approach is to use a computable general equilibrium model that tracks economic impacts of new crops and how patterns of trade and substitution will change. It’s important to account for the complexities involved, and rely not on a simple, traditional commodity model but one that tracks the impacts on women through changing prices and demands for crops to be sold on local and international markets. Who gains and who loses as prices change, and as the value of specific crops and of land changes?
The session in which Dan Kammen participated can be watched here. A registration is required, afterward please proceed to Day 2 to the 5th panel.
"[...] There were plenty of ideas on how to improve the process of producing and distributing energy — and plenty of counterbalancing viewpoints on the hurdles involved. Moderator David Owen of The New Yorker solicited thoughts from Rogers, Russ Ford of Shell, Dan Kammen of the World Bank and Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico.
Probably the most re-Tweeted comment during this discussion was Kammen’s observation that “We have not seen the ‘go to the moon’ speech yet on clean energy.” Part of his point was that, both governmentally and culturally, we do not yet have an overarching, systems-oriented view of energy problems. For example, Kammen noted, there are policies that focus on energy generation, but not transmission; there are clean cookstove initiatives that never concern themselves with how the wood for those stoves can be sustainably sourced. What’s needed is a holistic approach to such problems."