GLPGP December 2018 Newsletter
Message from Alex Evans, Chair, Operating Committee
This year we have seen the issue of air pollution rightly rise to the top levels of the global public health agenda. The World Health Organization's First Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health last month highlighted the massive health challenges of air pollution, including to millions of families from continued use of biomass fuels for cooking and lighting.
At GLPGP, we have seen increased prioritization of LPG by developing countries as an essential, evidence-based, scalable, forest-friendly and -- significantly -- climate-friendly solution, with many requests from developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas for our assistance.
We have helped numerous countries develop and strengthen their LPG sector growth and reform plans, and scaled innovations to bring LPG to under-served communities. We led on the development of global frameworks for monitoring and evaluating national-scale LPG solutions and on women's empowerment in the LPG sector. We demonstrated that innovative consumer microfinance programs to help bring LPG to poorer households can work commercially in Sub-Saharan Africa, expanding both numbers and geographic reach this year.
All this work was made possible by the ongoing support of our expanding family of partners and donors, to whom we say Thank You.
Please read on, and if you haven't made a contribution to support us this year, we ask for you to consider a year-end gift to GLPGP to help us provide cleaner air and modern cooking solutions to many more families and countries in the year to come.
Cooking with LPG is Climate Cooling
When you think about addressing climate change, fossil fuels are seen as the problem, but never as part of the solution, so the benefits of LPG in this regard at times get overlooked.
Even as LPG is primarily produced today as a byproduct of oil and gas extraction and refining (although there is increasing bioLPG production), it has a strong – and increasing – role to play as part of urgent climate change action planning. When families shift from burning wood and charcoal to cooking using LPG, they significantly reduce emissions of black carbon and PM2.5. Such emissions don't only contribute to poor household air quality and ill health, but also contribute to significant ambient air pollution from short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs).
This is why the latest IPCC special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, put together by leading scientists, includes in Chapter 4 (section 4.3.6) on Short Lived Climate Forcers a reference to gas-based cooking (which includes LPG), as one of the options to reduce SLCP emissions consistent with a 1.5 degree scenario.
Independent experts from Norway's Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) and the UK’s University of Liverpool mapped this earlier this year for the country of Cameroon. The experts modeled the effects of full implementation of the Cameroon government's existing LPG for clean cooking national plan, which GLPGP helped to prepare. This plan would see 60% of Cameroon’s population using LPG for cooking by 2030.
The results, showing improved health, reduced deforestation and forest degradation as well as other benefits, also include a mild climate cooling effect. The report can be found here.
GLPGP hopes to continue such modeling efforts in other priority African countries.
Bottled Gas For Better Life Microfinance Program Update
Our Bottled Gas For Better Life microfinance program continues to bring LPG to low-income families in Cameroon and Kenya. Thanks to these microloans, more families can make the switch to LPG from cooking with dirty, polluting firewood and charcoal.
In the second program phase in Cameroon, 484 households have received loans to purchase LPG equipment (a double-burner stove, a filled 12.5kg LPG cylinder, a regulator and a hose) through November 2018. LPG equipment is provided by two marketers, Glocalgaz and Tradex. 81 households have already re-paid the loan fully in three repayment cycles or less, and repayments are continuing at this time.
In the Kenya pilot, 63 households in Magumu, Nyandarua County have received new LPG equipment through mid-November. GLPGP’s Kenyan partners include Equity Bank (loan provider) and the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (LPG equipment provider). Baseline surveys for the impact evaluation, led by the University of California, Berkeley and funded by the International Growth Center, will soon commence.
GLPGP aims to help catalyze and develop successful nationwide LPG microfinance programs, with local financial institutions supporting loan funding and collections on a fully commercial, sustainable basis. Future phases of the program may also include business microloans for the purchase of LPG for commercial use, for example for street vendors, in addition to households.
Read our latest Bottled Gas For Better Life program report here.
National Indicators for Sustainable LPG Expansion (ISLE)
GLPGP has developed a framework of Indicators for Sustainable LPG Expansion (ISLE). They are meant for use by national government agencies in ongoing monitoring and evaluation of national LPG sector reforms and expansions for clean cooking.
The ISLE framework is part of a multi-year national planning study and LPG sector development initiative, the Clean Cooking for Africa project. The project is now nearing publication of several major market assessment, infrastructure planning, and investment and financing reports for an initial three Sub-Saharan African countries – Cameroon, Kenya and Ghana. The Clean Cooking for Africa project is funded by the European Union (with KfW).
ISLE is expected to be published in early 2019 and will be available on GLPGP website.
Help A Family Breathe More Easily This Holiday Season
As you prepare for the holidays, please donate to GLPGP to bring the benefits of clean cooking with LPG to more families in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hear directly from a woman in Cameroon about how switching to LPG through our microfinance program has made her healthier and happier:
Events Featuring GLPGP Speakers
Launch of Clean Energy Access for the Prevention of Non-Communicable Disease in Africa (CLEAN-Air(Africa)) NIHR Global Health Research Group (November 28)
On November 28, 2018, the University of Liverpool, UK, launched the CLEAN-Air(Africa) Global Health Research Group. Sponsored by the UK National Institute for Health Research with a £2 million grant, CLEAN-Air(Africa) is a collaboration between the University of Liverpool, Moi University (Kenya), the University of Ghana, Kintampo Health Research Centre (Ghana), and Douala General Hospital (Cameroon).
The Group will develop a program of applied research and health systems strengthening to support governments in Sub-Saharan Africa in scaling up adoption of clean fuels (LPG), to address the environmental and public health burdens arising from reliance on solid fuel use for household energy.
The CLEAN-Air(Africa) team is led by Dr. Daniel Pope, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology who leads research on energy, air pollution and health at the University of Liverpool, and Dr. Elisa Puzzolo, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool and GLPGP’s Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation. The event was attended by the University of Liverpool research team, as well as research and health experts from Ghana, Kenya and Cameroon.
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Government of Honduras LPG Development Meeting (November 6)
At the invitation of the Government of Honduras, Mr. Renzo Bee, GLPGP Chair, Policy, Regulatory and Development Advisory attended an inter-ministerial meeting organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Mr. Bee provided guidance to the Honduran Ministries of Energy, Health, Environment and Finance regarding the government’s plan to create a new LPG regulatory framework, update and replace existing LPG cylinders for improved safety, and increase taxes on kerosene to shift kerosene use to LPG.
Clean Cooking Investment Forum, Kigali, Rwanda (November 5-6)
GLPGP Chair, International Institutions, Ms. Richenda Van Leeuwen moderated a private sector session at the first Rwanda Clean Cooking Investment Forum in Kigali. Panelists included private sector representatives from various parts of the clean cooking supply chain – Burn Manufacturing, Envirofit, KopaGas, Mimi Moto, and Société Pétrolière Rwanda. The panelists provided insights into how they have developed and grown their businesses in the context of their respective supply chains. They also discussed innovations across the sector, including rapid digitalization.
WHO First Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, Geneva, Switzerland (October 30 – November 1)
GLPGP Chairman Kimball Chen presented the role and benefits of LPG at the World Health Organization (WHO)’s First Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health. Conference delegates included Ministers of Health and Ministers of Environment, representatives from the health, energy and transportation sectors, as well as academia and civil society. The conference aimed to encourage cross-sector collaborations to reduce by two-thirds the number of deaths from air pollution-related non-communicable diseases by 2030. GLPGP joined many other actors in making voluntary commitments towards the achievement of this goal. Watch the Plenary Session X video below (Mr. Chen speaks at 1:13:45):
Highlights from the conference included not only Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, entering the conference hall riding a bicycle to showcase his commitment to a lower carbon footprint. They also included strong endorsements and calls to action by WHO around the need for increased access to clean cooking fuels including LPG and associated technologies, in order to address the clean cooking goal in Sustainable Development Goal 7. WHO recognizes and supports the valuable role of LPG as a scalable clean burning fuel, to help families across developing countries address the ongoing health challenges they face due to continued burning of wood and charcoal.
The high level of political engagement on this issue was encouraging, especially if it can lead to additional donor commitments for clean cooking. The recently released SEforAll Energizing Finance report shows that the clean cooking sector still needs significant increased funding in order to get on track with the UN 2030 targets, and to help people breathe more easily at home.
Stanford Natural Gas Initiative 2018 Symposium (October 16-17) and NGI Industrial Affiliates Meeting (October 18-19)
Mr. Kimball Chen, Chairman of GLPGP, was a keynote speaker at Stanford University’s Natural Gas Initiative (NGI) Symposium. His presentation focused on issues of energy access, sustainability and affordability. Mr. Chen also addressed the 2018 NGI Industrial Affiliates Meeting, discussing LPG for distributed energy in the developing world. The presentations are available here:
Day of the Rural Woman Event in Mbalmayo, Cameroon (October 12)
The University of Liverpool, Mbalmayo City Council, and GLPGP held a sensitization event to mark the Day of the Rural Woman in Mbalmayo, in Cameroon’s Centre Province. Local women who attended the event heard about the benefits of clean cooking with LPG, and the impact of firewood smoke on human health and the environment.
GLPGP’s experience in Cameroon and Kenya has shown the importance of sensitization and education in helping non-LPG users make the decision to switch to clean cooking with LPG. People are more likely to adopt LPG if they are aware of its benefits, how to cook local dishes using LPG, and the health hazards of continuing to cook with charcoal, firewood and kerosene. Education focused on household economic decision-making is also important. Educating users about the cost advantages of LPG compared to other fuels is likely to encourage – beyond initial adoption – more sustained use of LPG over time. Many of them are surprised to learn that it is actually cheaper over time to cook with LPG than it is to continue purchasing firewood.
LPG For Development luncheon session, Houston, Texas (October 4)
GLPGP organized and moderated the second annual LPG For Development panel session at the World LPG Association (WLPGA) Forum in Houston, co-hosted with WLPGA. The session was moderated by Ms. Richenda Van Leeuwen. Speakers included Ms. Bessem Enonchong from GLPGP Cameroon, Mr. Obed Kraine from Ghana’s National Petroleum Authority, Ms. Wanjiku Manyara from the Petroleum Institute of East Africa and Mr. Sunil Mathur from Indian Oil Corporation. Panelists discussed the state of play for LPG in a development context in their respective countries, with a strong call to action by Ms. Manyara to make LPG available for modern cooking to all African women. The panel also showcased several areas pertaining to both public and private sector planning and finance required for a sustainable, scalable LPG sector for clean cooking in emerging markets. A full day event is being planned alongside the 2019 WLPGA Forum in Amsterdam.