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Mapped: The Global Reliance on Harmful Cooking Fuels



The following content is sponsored by Carbon Streaming Corporation

Mapped: The Global Reliance on Harmful Cooking Fuels

While safe and clean cooking fuels are often readily available in the Western world, over 2 billion people globally lack access to these resources, instead depending on coal, kerosene, wood, and charcoal for their cooking needs.

These fuels, however, have deleterious impacts on human health, climate, and the environment, leading to millions of premature deaths each year and contributing significantly to global CO2 emissions and forest degradation.

To explore this topic in further detail, we partnered with Carbon Streaming Corporation to map the number of people without access to clean cooking alternatives, regionally, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Two Billion People Without Access to Clean Cooking

Access to clean cooking fuels and technologies is unevenly distributed worldwide.

The majority of individuals (>95%) in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand enjoy access to clean cooking fuels and technologies.

However, access is a lot lower in many parts of the world. Let’s now take a look at these regions.

RegionNumber of people without access to clean cooking, 2021Share of population without access to clean cooking, 2021
Sub-Saharan Africa935 million82%
Central and Southern Asia723 million35%
Eastern and South-Eastern Asia433 million19%
Latin America and the Caribbean76 million12%
North America and Europe48 million4%
Western Asia and Northern Africa40 million7%
Oceania (excluding Aus. and NZ)11 million85%
GLOBAL2.27 billion29%

With a staggering 935 million people, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of people lacking access to clean cooking. This is more than 80% of the 2021 population.

On the other hand, 85% of the population of Oceania, excluding Australia and New Zealand, lacks access to clean cooking, but because of their smaller population this “only” adds up to 11 million people.

Closing the Gaps

With millions of annual deaths linked to cooking with harmful fuels, in addition to the millions of metric tons of CO2 emissions produced by their combustion, ensuring equitable access to cleaner and safer cooking options is important not just for the health of communities, but also for our planet.

Carbon Streaming’s Community Carbon project brings fuel-efficient solutions to millions of households in Sub-Saharan Africa by distributing cleaner cookstoves in Mozambique, Uganda, and Tanzania and water purification devices in Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, and Zambia.


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Contribute to safer cooking and water in Africa by purchasing carbon credits* from Carbon Streaming.

*Each metric ton purchased represents one carbon credit equivalent that will be retired to support the project. Purchased credits will be retired on the applicable registry by Carbon Streaming on behalf of the purchaser.

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