Clean Cooking: Impacts on Climate Change


In the previous articles, we discussed the concept of clean cooking and the dangers of unsustainable cooking to man's health, now, we would be considering the impact of clean cooking on the climate, and for the benefit of the doubt, weigh our options.

Should we wave the dangers of solid fuels from unsustainable cooking or embrace clean cooking and its long term benefits —staying alive, breathing clean air, saving the lands and oceans, and living healthy?

Who's ready to dive in? I am. 😁

According to WHO, around 2.4 billion people practice unsustainable cooking which is largely fueled by solid fuels like kerosene, wood, charcoal, etc. That's a large number, and this is clearly because solid fuels are cheaper and easily accessible. However, ironically, 3.2 million people around the world die yearly due to the effects of these solid fuels.

I'm not insinuating that you or I will be affected next; I'm only stating the facts. So, breathe in. 

Now, here's something not funny, this is the least of the effects of solid fuels. As solid fuel is burned, the emissions are released into the atmosphere which poses a greater problem to man. These greenhouse gases are gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, and CO2 is the GHG serving as the he biggest contributor to solid fuel emission.

Although present in the atmosphere as part of the carbon cycle and also as a protective cap to regulate the energy sufficient for existence, an increase in CO2 would lead to global warming which will increase the amount of energy the earth receives. In plain terms, the weather will be way hotter than it is now.

An increase in CO2 does not only produce a warming effect on the climate, but it also disrupts the activities of other variables like the land and the oceans _ extreme weather, disruption in the supply of food, flooding, wildfires, etc. It doesn't end there, this CO2 sticks for centuries, trapping heat so that in the coming ages it gets hotter and extreme, and hotter.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), CO2 has increased to 421ppm (parts per million) as of May 2022 against the 280ppm from centuries ago. Now, consider the irregularities in the weather we experience in the present time, and imagine how it would worsen as days come and go.

Bear in mind, that I wasn't insinuating that you or I will be affected next, but you and I are not safe.

Human activities create greater problems than meets the eye, one that destroys the ecosystem and displaces people from their habitat. Yes, charcoal or kerosene is cheaper but it would save you and your generations, your health, and the health of your neighbors if you practice clean cooking.

There is an urgent need to address the issue of CO2 emission, and it is of vital importance to start by curtailing human activities like the use of solid fuels. It would not only save our planet but will reduce the number of people that die yearly. It will also ensure clean, carbon-free air.

Take this minute and breathe in your environment. What does it say? Clean healthy air or…? We have weighed our options. I choose the latter.  

— Chukwudalu Abugu. 

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