On June 15th, representatives from new energy companies, climate finance, governments, development agencies, multi-lateral banks, and NGOs will meet in Arusha, Tanzania, to begin discussions on a blueprint that will make woodfuels, charcoal, and other solid biomass fuels a truly renewable energy choice for developing countries.
When it comes to “clean cookstoves,” to paraphrase a former US president, “it depends what your definition of the word “clean” is…
The Tanzania office of Switzerland’s international development agency (SDC) gave Tuesday a shot in the arm to a proposed International Conference on Charcoal to be held in Africa in 2012. The SDC made a significant financial commitment to support the organization of the conference.
The SDC representatives in Tanzania have identified the country’s current level of production and consumption of charcoal as a priority area.
About 90 percent of the country’s energy needs are met by woodfuels. These figures are in keeping with average biomass consumption in sub-Saharan Africa. The annual consumption of more than 1 million tons of charcoal results in a loss of 130,000 to 150,000 hectares of forests and the emission of about 9 million tons of CO2. In Tanzania, on average, only one hectare of forest is replanted for every three hectares destroyed.
The recent spike in oil is sure to increase woodfuel and charcoal consumption above the current 10 percent growth rate, experts say, a situation that could potentially tip the country into a charcoal crisis.
We were very pleased to receive this morning a letter from the United Nations Environment Programme that recognizes the unsustainable nature of current levels of charcoal production and consumption in sub-Saharan Africa, and the threat this poses to the progress on the MDGs. The letter, signed by Mr. Mounkaila Goumandakoye, Director and Regional Representative of UNEP in Africa, also expresses the agency’s support for The Charcoal Project’s effort to organize the first International Conference on Charcoal, scheduled to take place in the first half of 2012 in Africa. Although we regret UNEP’s Executive Director, Achim Steiner, will not be able … Continue reading