The Climate and Health Impacts of Cooking with Biomass

Friday, February 17, 2012: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 208-209 (VCC West Building)
Roughly 3 billion people worldwide rely on solid fuels, primarily biomass such as wood or dung for their primary cooking fuel. This has implications for human health (about 2 million attributable deaths per year, which is comparable to deaths from malaria), climate change (from combustion and land-use effects), local environmental change, and gender equity. However, there are major gaps in our knowledge of the emissions and health effects of biomass combustion, the efficacy of improved biomass stoves and fuels, the complex relationship between biomass fuels and land-use change, and the climate effects of changing cooking technologies and fuels. This issue will continue to be a major problem for the global poor in coming decades, as biomass fuel is usually more available and less expensive than alternatives. Sustainable solutions have proved elusive because of the challenges associated with diffusing energy technologies to mainly rural households. This symposium focuses on the climate and health impacts of cooking with biomass that will cover both the science and policy of this energy poverty problem. This multifaceted and complex problem encompasses domains ranging from combustion engineering and climate science to the economics of household decision-making. Experts on household energy, health, climate change, and emissions will discuss the state of knowledge in their respective fields and policy options for accelerating the move toward cleaner stoves and fuels.
Hisham Zerriffi, University of British Columbia
Mike Brauer, University of British Columbia
Jennifer Peel, Colorado State University
and Sumi Mehta, The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
Andrew Grieshop, North Carolina State University
Clean Cookstove Emissions: How Are They Now and How Low Do They Need To Go?
Rob Bailis, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Biomass Energy, Land Cover, and Climate-Change Mitigation: How Much Do We Know?
Hisham Zerriffi, University of British Columbia
Biomass-Based Cooking and the Energy Transition Process
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