Chairs' summary for the Summit on Clean Cooking in Africa

Photo 4 Chairs Clean Cooking Summit

A broad coalition of stakeholders on clean cooking met in Paris on 14 May, at the Summit on Clean Cooking in Africa, co-chaired by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, the Prime Minister of Norway H.E. Jonas Gahr Støre, the President of the African Development Bank Group Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, and the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency Dr. Fatih Birol.

The world is way behind on its goal to deliver affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all as stipulated in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7. One area in particular – clean cooking – has seen a concerning lack of progress, particularly in Africa. According to the IEA, nearly four in five people in Africa still cook their meals over open fires and traditional stoves using polluting fuels. The lack of clean cooking has dire consequences for health, gender equality and the climate, contributing to nearly half a million premature deaths of women and children annually in Africa alone.

We know that the solutions are well known, and we affirm that our primary focus should be on ensuring affordable access in a timely manner to cleaner and modern cooking solutions – which include biomass in high performance stoves, biogas, bioethanol, liquified petroleum gas (LPG), electric – all of which can deliver benefits in terms of health, productivity, gender equality, forest preservation, biodiversity, and emissions reductions. We affirm that the strategies taken by countries to advance clean cooking will depend on local context, and that each country has sovereignty to shape this agenda in a manner consistent with people-centred energy transitions.

The cost of solving this issue is relatively small, with the IEA estimating that USD 4 billion of capital investments would be required annually to achieve clean cooking access for all African people by 2030. Reaching universal access to clean cooking fuels and technologies will depend on strong national and regional leadership, and programmes that are reinforced by international financial support, partnerships, and industry efforts.

The Summit on Clean Cooking in Africa brought together over 1000 delegates, including 55 government delegations, convening 4 Heads of Government in Paris, with 23 ministers in attendance, and several Heads of international organisations. The Summit was also attended by high-level representatives from industry, development partners, philanthropies, and civil society, making it the largest-ever gathering dedicated to the shared objective of advancing clean cooking access in Africa. Additionally, President Macron of France hosted a special session at the Elysée on the occasion of the Summit.

At the Summit, USD 2.2 billion worth of financing and investments was mobilised from government and private sector sources, with many announcing their intention to expand their support for clean cooking in Africa in the future. We welcome, in particular, several new providers of finance and funding who have previously not been a major provider for clean cooking. These new announcements are in addition to the African Development Bank Group’s commitment at COP28 to channel USD 2 billion for clean cooking over 10 years and will boost the existing direct development assistance already available via other government and multi-lateral sources. We call upon others to reinforce these efforts and allocate additional financial resources to clean cooking in the coming years, through development finance, private sector engagement, and carbon credits. In particular, President Samia Suluhu Hassan called for a generous next replenishment of the African Development Fund, earmarking USD 12 billion for clean cooking, in her remarks.

There was also broad acknowledgement of the significant role that carbon credits and climate finance have already played in scaling clean cooking efforts, recognising the potential for further expansion of this support, within the context of Article 6 and voluntary markets, provided these are met with high-integrity credits used responsibly. To that end, at the Summit, over forty organisations decided to establish a Collaborative Task Force committed to the generation of and demand for high-integrity carbon credits from clean cooking activities based on updated methodologies that address the concerns of carbon credit integrity, noting in particularly the momentum building around the Clean Cooking Alliance-led Clean Cooking and Climate Consortium (4C) initiative.

At the Summit, nine African governments have publicly committed to making access to clean cooking a national priority and are taking necessary steps to implement proven policy measures in their countries to usher greater progress. We note with great appreciation the African Heads of State and government leaders present at the Summit, noting with gratitude the role of President of the United Republic of Tanzania H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan as a champion of clean cooking on the continent for making clean cooking a pan African priority through the African Women Clean Cooking Support Programme – a gender responsive just energy transition programme in Africa launched at COP28. We equally applaud Tanzania for the launch of a 10-year National Clean Cooking Strategy for the country and call upon all African governments to push clean cooking towards the top of their national agendas and implement policy approaches that have proven successful in the past, including in India, Brazil, Egypt, India, and Indonesia.

At the Summit, participants welcomed the recent commitment by the G7 Climate, Energy, and the Environment Ministers to promote clean cooking, the announcement by the Brazil G20 Presidency that clean cooking will feature prominently in its G20 agenda, and the recognition of clean cooking as one of the priority issues for Azerbaijan’s COP29 Presidency. This Summit also carries forward the important development agenda laid out in the Paris Pact for People and the Planet and can be seen as a milestone under the umbrella of that broader agenda. We will continue to advance the clean cooking agenda with a coalition of committed actors within the context of these initiatives, including at the Summit for the Future and the 2025 Financing for Development Conference. At the Summit, participants also emphasised the importance of building on existing partnerships and initiatives rather than creating new ones that potentially duplicate existing efforts.

The Summit on Clean Cooking in Africa is a pivotal milestone in the collective journey towards universal access to clean cooking. Stakeholders at the Summit agreed to support further efforts to increase delivery capacity for clean cooking in Africa and many participants announced concrete actions and commitments, representing important steps toward this end. A separate Summit Outcome Document and Action Plan catalogues all the pledges, announcements, and commitments made. It also documents the key actions discussed amongst participants to advance the clean cooking agenda across three key pillars: (i) scaling up Finance for Clean Cooking in Africa, (ii) Making Clean Cooking a Policy Priority, and (iii) Catalysing Multi-stakeholder Partnerships.

Following the Summit, attention must now turn to implementation of commitments and outcomes – a task that the Summit co-chairs commit to support. Many actors will take forward pieces of the agenda identified at the Summit, including within the context of the African Clean Cooking Consortium (ACCC) and the Africa Women Clean Cooking Support Programme (AWCCSP). Key follow-on actions include supporting policy implementation, mobilising more financial commitments and investments, convening stakeholders on clean cooking at future events and Summits, a new task force committed to enhancing the generation of and demand for carbon credit from clean cooking. We will ensure the continuing of IEA’s tracking of clean cooking progress, investment, and energy demand, which will be provided annually as a means of gauging progress against commitments made at the Summit and future events.

Finally, we applaud the 130 delegations who, at the Summit, joined us in a statement of commitment to advance clean cooking efforts in Africa, through their endorsement of the high-level Clean Cooking Declaration. This group included 28 governments, as well as many international organisations, governments, and civil society. The declaration is a clear demonstration of our shared commitment and resolve to collective action, and progressing this important agenda through various fora until this issue is finally solved.