ClimateCare and Relief International join forces in Ghana to unlock carbon finance from fuel-efficient charcoal cookstoves

The Gyapa cookstove project cuts fuel costs for families, improves health, slows deforestation and supports local economy.

Entered in the 2degrees Champions Awards 2014

Nearly three billion people in the developing world cook food and heat their homes with traditional cookstoves or open fires. Four million premature deaths, mostly affecting women and children, occur every year due to smoke exposure making it the fifth worst risk factor for disease in developing countries.

In 2007 ClimateCare started working with project developers Relief International to unlock carbon finance from the Gyapa Fuel Efficient Stove, a fuel efficient charcoal cookstove in Ghana.

The Gyapa stove cooks food more quickly, requires 40-50% less fuel, and reduces expose to toxic smoke. It not only cuts carbon emissions by reducing the need to harvest forests in Ghana’s dwindling forests, but it also improves health. Beyond environmental and health benefits, the Gyapa stove helps people save money, is produced by local artisans and is sold within the local private sector, ensuring its sustainability and its contribution to local economic empowerment.

What did you do?

Back in 2003, ClimateCare funded its first cookstove project through carbon finance – the first company in the world to do so. This paved the way for work with Relief International, which began in 2007, unlocking funding for cookstoves in Ghana through the sale of carbon credits.

The project uses carbon finance to support local business through marketing, business and technical training and capital investment.

ClimateCare continues to sell carbon credits from the project to organisations around the world, which use the credits to offset their own unavoidable carbon emissions. Relief International provides training, quality control services, strategic investment and distributes the stoves through a wide network of retailers.

What was the result?

This project is now the largest local production industry for improved cookstoves in Africa. It cuts fuel costs for families – 2.4m people have saved more than $35m. It helps improve health because it reduces exposure to hazardous air pollutants. It slows deforestation by reducing demand for wood. It supports the local economy – the stoves are locally manufactured and specialist skills are developed.

Through the production and manufacturing chain highly skilled ceramists and metal artisans have a guaranteed employment for their manufacturing services. Currently, over 12,500 ceramic liners are produced each month through 350 manufacturers. In addition, more than 500 local retailers benefit from selling the Gyapa stove.

Over 550,000 stoves have been sold, generating more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 reductions and the project is still going strong.

The personal pitch

By acknowledging the long term success of this innovative project you will help encourage more NGOs to work in partnership with ClimateCare and unlock funding from the private sector. You will also encourage business to support projects like this and credit those who have supported it to date.

Which suppliers, contractors, solutions or consultants helped to make the project a success?

This is a partnership project that relies on many different types of individuals and organisations working together to achieve shared aims, often for different reasons.

Close collaboration between ClimateCare and Relief International help make this possible. For example we work closely with the Gold Standard Foundation who verify the carbon reductions, corporate businesses who purchase credits to offset their own emissions and the community who require targeted support to build the impact of this project.

Other crucial partnerships are with the local government, community leaders and the entrepreneurs and artisans on the ground in Ghana who make and sell the stoves. Finally, of course we need to inspire every individual family to use the new Gyapa stoves to deliver the benefits to people and the environment.

This innovative project is a great example of a partnership project, delivering benefits for local people and the environment. Please see our project page here, which includes case studies, photos, PDFs and videos.

This article forms ClimateCare and Relief International’s submission into the Social Value category of the 2degrees Champions Awards 2014. It was written and submitted by Rhiannon Szmgielski, marketing director, ClimateCare.