Provision of clean cooking for all is recognized as a critical cross-sectoral development issue. The potential societal benefits are enormous, particularly for public health, women’s productivity and empowerment, and the environment. Along with electrification, clean cooking is an essential component to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 7.1 -- ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services. However, the stark reality is that progress on clean cooking access has been stymied by past perceptions of the sector as orphaned, invisible, and expensive. Recent developments have opened a window of opportunity for driving scale.
The World Bank’s Clean Cooking Fund, the largest dedicated fund for galvanizing political commitment, scaling up public and private investment, and catalyzing innovation is using innovative Results-Based Financing (RBF) designs and applications to promote long-term market development and advance access for all. Lessons and success stories from the World Bank’s recent operational experience in the sector show how making access to clean cooking a political priority, using people-centered approaches, can drive large development impacts for society.
To unlock a country’s clean cooking pathways, stakeholders must carefully consider its overall enabling environment, including its institutional capacity to implement transformative solutions. In countries with a high access deficit, addressing the cooking poverty issue will initially require modernizing the biomass fuel sector and promoting integrated, cost-effective approaches. How does one make the case for clean cooking in countries with a high access deficit? What are the guiding principles for developing a clean cooking strategy? What building blocks are necessary to promote market development for long-term sustainability? This report attempts to answer these and other key questions.