5-6 JUNE 2018 / Tour & Taxis / Brussels

Achieving gender equality through universal access to energy: a roadmap towards 2030

D7
Large Debate
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
14:45 to 16:00

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seek to change the course of the 21st century, addressing key challenges such as eradicating poverty, eliminating inequalities and combating climate change. A number of SDGs are more likely to be achieved if the interlinkages among them are recognized and integrated in development policies and planning. Significant among these are SDG 7 on Energy and SDG5 on Gender, which are inextricably linked. Bringing together experiences from member states, international organizations and civil society, this event will showcase how energy access is a key driver for gender equality, and how the integration of gender and energy can help reap benefits at multiple levels and contribute to the achievement of other SDGs.

Key points

  • Cooking with open fires or traditional cookstoves causes serious health and environmental harm that disproportionally affects the lives and livelihoods of women and children.
  • Clean cooking solutions can dramatically reduce exposure to harmful cookstove smoke, but delivering this technology and changing behaviour has proved difficult in many developing countries.
  • The lack of political will at the national level and the billions of euros required to deliver clean cookstove technology has slowed down progress.
  • The global community needs to treat traditional cookstoves as a life-threatening public health issue that demands the serious engagement of governments, the private sector and civil society.

Synopsis

What is one way to empower women and save lives? Clean cookstoves. This panel explored the potential of clean household power to transform communities and the lives of women and girls.

A short film produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) laid out the facts. Globally, 3 billion people cook over open fires or traditional cookstoves that burn heavily polluting fuels such as charcoal, kerosene, wood and animal dung. Cooking this way causes serious health and environmental harm that disproportionally affects the lives and livelihoods of women and children.

As a leading cause of air pollution, traditional cooking methods contribute to the preventable death of 2.6 million people each year and sicken millions more. Yet, clean cooking solutions exist that can dramatically reduce exposure to harmful cookstove smoke and lessen climate and environment

Insight

Doctors should prescribe clean cookstoves just like they prescribe malaria nets or antibiotics. This is a massive public health problem with millions of lives at stake. We need fresh thinking and new strategies to dramatically speed up progress.

Organised by

Speakers

Sheila Oparaocha
Executive Director
Energia International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy
Marjeta Jager
Deputy Director-General
European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Director-General
World Health Organisation
Felice Zaccheo
Head of Unit
European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
Marcel Alers
Head of Energy
United Nations Development Programme
Ibrahim Rehman
DIRECTOR INDIA OPERATIONS
Flemish Institute for Technological Research
Salma Elshaikh Idris Ali Abdalla
Young Leader - Sudan