Improved Cookstoves for Guatemala
In rural Guatemalan households consumption of firewood is extremely high and out of budget. While the annual deficit of firewood is already more than 5 million tons, increasing demand for wood fuel further accelerates deforestation. Meanwhile, toxic indoor smoke increases health problems causing more than 5,000 death per year. The Improved Cookstove Program promotes, distributes and helps install locally produced cookstoves with single or multi-pot cooking surface and chimney for faster and cleaner cooking. The use of these clean cookstoves reduces fuelwood consumption by up to 65% compared to open-fire cooking, therefore supporting forest conservation efforts, reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and improving indoor air quality in homes.
Guatemala is home to 14.7 million people, 51% of which leave in rural areas and most of them rely on wood fuel for cooking. 85% of all wood consumption in Guatemala is from rural households. Most households cook on smoky, inefficient, three-stone fires using large branches and logs from trees on farmland and surrounding forests. Open fires achieve only partial combustion of wood while releasing toxic fumes indoor. The use of open fires for cooking is one of the world’s most pressing health and environmental problems, directly impacting close to half the world’s population and causing nearly 4 million premature deaths each year, according to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Indoor air pollution is responsible for equivalent economic losses of around 1% of Guatemala’s GDP and is the second largest contributor to childhood pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses.
How It Works
Improved, energy-efficient cookstoves replace inefficient, three-stone fires and traditional pot support and combust firewood more efficiently, concentrating the heat to where it is needed most. The result is faster, cleaner cooking with less fuel burned, less carbon emitted, and fewer trees cut down.
Clean cookstoves help in reducing the need for fuelwood by 65% compared to open fire, thus supporting forest conservation efforts. An energy-efficient stove saves one tree for each month it is in use. The new stoves also help reduce time and drudgery collecting firewood and cut harmful cooking smoke by 99%. Improved indoor air quality reduces the risk of premature death and respiratory diseases, reduces medical costs, and improves productivity. At scale, the program removes approximately 42,773 metric tons of CO2 per year – the equivalent of taking 9,081 cars off the road for a year.
Facts & Figures
- Promotes energy-saving, clean stoves in rural communities in support forest conservation efforts, clean up cooking, improve family health, and fight climate change
- Discourages indiscriminate firewood collection, significantly cutting forest loss in the long-term
- Helps ease rural life by cutting costs and reducing the time of collecting firewood and cooking
- 42,773 metric tons CO2e removed per year – the equivalent of taking 9,081 cars off the road for a year
Certification Standard: UN Clean Development Mechanism