What are Co-Benefits?
Cleaner, more efficient cookstoves reduce fuel use, resulting in fewer GHG emissions, but they also have additional environmental and social benefits. In the world of carbon finance, where the primary focus is on GHG emission reductions, these additional benefits are referred to as co-benefits.
There are a variety of co-benefits that can result from the use of clean cooking solutions:
Environmental – The use of clean cooking technologies can reduce negative impacts on forests, habitats, and biodiversity.
Health – Clean cookstoves and fuels are evidence-based, cost-effective methods to prevent and control chronic and acute health effects such as child pneumonia, lung cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease, and heart disease at the global, regional, national, and local levels.
Women’s Empowerment – The clean cookstove and fuel value chain offers new pathways for women’s economic empowerment. Women can participate in, own businesses around and earn income from product design, engineering, manufacturing, maintenance, marketing, distribution, sales and related enterprise that involves cooking, like restaurants and street food vendors.
Local Livelihoods – Replacing traditional cookstoves with more efficient technologies save households’ time and money. In addition the clean cookstove and fuel value chain offers opportunities for local employment.
Carbon finance and pro-poor co-benefits: The Gold Standard and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards, by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an assessment of the practical contribution of the Gold Standard to local development through the identification of high quality carbon offset projects and ensuring high standards of consultation with local communities during project development and implementation.
The CarbonNeutral Company hosted a panel event entitled ‘Delivering health, economic and biodiversity benefits to communities through offset projects’ at the Climate Leadership Conference in San Diego.
The panel was chaired by Managing Director of The CarbonNeutral Company, Jonathan Shopley, and included David Antonioli, CEO of the Verified Carbon Standard, John O. Niles, Director of Climate and Forests at WWF, Jennifer Tweddell from the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and Ben Henneke, developer of community reforestation projects in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and India.