Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Policy trade-offs between climate mitigation and clean cook-stove access in South Asia

Abstract

Household air pollution from traditional cook stoves presents a greater health hazard than any other environmental factor. Despite government efforts to support clean-burning cooking fuels, over 700 million people in South Asia could still rely on traditional stoves in 2030. This number could rise if climate change mitigation efforts increase energy costs. Here we quantify the costs of support policies to make clean cooking affordable to all South Asians under four increasingly stringent climate policy scenarios. Our most stringent mitigation scenario increases clean fuel costs 38% in 2030 relative to the baseline, keeping 21% more South Asians on traditional stoves or increasing the minimum support policy cost to achieve universal clean cooking by up to 44%. The extent of this increase depends on how policymakers allocate subsidies between clean fuels and stoves. These additional costs are within the range of financial transfers to South Asia estimated in efforts-sharing scenarios of international climate agreements.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: South Asian emissions and solid-fuel reliance under baseline and climate mitigation scenarios.
Figure 2: Access policy cost-effectiveness under baseline and climate mitigation scenarios.
Figure 3: Distributional impacts of policy.

References

  1. 1

    Household Air Pollution and Health (WHO, 2014).

  2. 2

    Bonjour, S. et al. Solid fuel use for household cooking: Country and regional estimates for 1980–2010. Environ. Health Perspect. 121, 784–790 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Smith, K. R. & Sagar, A. Making the clean available: Escaping India’s Chulha Trap. Energy Policy 75, 410–414 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Smith, K. R. et al. Millions dead: How do we know and what does it mean? Methods used in the comparative risk assessment of household air pollution. Ann. Rev. Public Health 35, 185–206 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Sustainable Energy for All: A Vision Statement by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations (United Nations, 2011); http://go.nature.com/A9HM7L

  6. 6

    Rogelj, J., McCollum, D. L. & Riahi, K. The UN’s ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ initiative is compatible with a warming limit of 2 C. Nature Clim. Change 3, 545–551 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming all Lives and Protecting the Planet—Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda (United Nations, 2015).

  8. 8

    Ruiz-Mercado, I. & Omar, M. Patterns of stove use in the context of fuel-device stacking: Rationale and implications. Ecohealth 12, 42–56 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Shenoy, B. Lessons Learned from Attempts to Reform India’s Kerosene Subsidy (International Institute for Sustainable Development, 2010).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Report of the Expert Group to Advice on Pricing Methodology for Diesel, Domestic LPG and PDS Kerosene (Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India, 2013).

  11. 11

    International Energy Agency (IEA) and the World Bank Sustainable Energy for All 2015—Progress Toward Sustainable Energy (World Bank, 2015).

  12. 12

    Moss, T., Pielke, R. J. & Bazilian, M. Balancing Energy Access and Environmental Goals in Development Finance: The Case of the OPIC Carbon Cap (Center for Global Development, 2014).

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (eds Core Writing Team, Pachauri, R. K. & Meyer, L. A. ) (IPCC, 2014).

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    van Ruijven, B. J. et al. Implications of greenhouse gas emission mitigation scenarios for the main Asian regions. Energy Econ. 34, S459–S469 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Lucas, P. L. et al. Implications of the international reduction pledges on long-term energy system changes and costs in China and India. Energy Policy 63, 1032–1041 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Daioglou, V., van Ruijven, B. J. & van Vuuren, D. P. Model projections for household energy use in developing countries. Energy 37, 601–615 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Calvin, K., Pachauri, S., De Cian, E. & Mouratiadou, I. The effect of African growth on future global energy, emissions, and regional development. J. Climatic Change http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10584-013-0964-4 (2013).

  18. 18

    van Vliet, O. et al. Synergies in the Asian energy system: Climate change, energy security, energy access and air pollution. Energy Econ. 34, S470–S480 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Roads from Rio+20 Pathways to Acheive Global Sustainability Goals by 2050 (PBL, 2012).

  20. 20

    Ekholm, T., Krey, V., Pachauri, S. & Riahi, K. Determinants of household energy consumption in India. Energy Policy 38, 5696–5707 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Pachauri, S. et al. Pathways to achieve universal household access to modern energy by 2030. Environ. Res. Lett. 8, 024015 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Bruce, N. G. et al. WHO indoor air quality guidelines on household fuel combustion: Strategy implications of new evidence on interventions and exposure–risk functions. Atmos. Environ. 106, 451–457 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    Sambandam, S. et al. Can currently available advanced combustion biomass cook-stoves provide health relevant exposure reductions? Results from initial assessment of select commercial models in India. Ecohealth 12, 25–41 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24

    WHO Indoor Air Quality Guidelines: Household Fuel Combustion (WHO, 2014).

  25. 25

    Pachauri, S. et al. in Global Energy Assessment—Toward a Sustainable Future 1401–1458 (Cambridge Univ. Press and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 2012).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  26. 26

    Riahi, K. et al. inGlobal Energy Assessment—Toward a Sustainable Future 1203–1306 (Cambridge Univ. Press and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 2012).

    Google Scholar 

  27. 27

    Fan, S., Chan-Kang, C. & Mukherjee, A. Rural and Urban Dynamics and Poverty: Evidence from China and India (International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 2005).

    Google Scholar 

  28. 28

    Unit-level Data from the Household Consumer Expenditure Survey Round 61 (National Sample Survey Organization, Ministry of Statistics, Government of India, 2007).

  29. 29

    Global Energy Assessment—Toward a Sustainable Future (Cambridge Univ. Press and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 2012).

  30. 30

    Rogelj, J. et al. Emission pathways consistent with a 2 C global temperature limit. Nature Clim. Change 1, 413–418 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31

    Kriegler, E. et al. What does the 2 C target imply for a global climate agreement in 2020? The limits study on Durban platform scenarios. Clim. Change Econ. 4, 1340008 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32

    Meinshausen, M., Raper, S. C. B. & Wigley, T. M. L. Emulating coupled atmosphere-ocean and carbon cycle models with a simpler model, MAGICC6—Part 1: Model description and calibration. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 11, 1417–1456 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33

    Meinshausen, M. et al. Greenhouse-gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2 C. Nature 458, 1158–1162 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. 34

    Rogelj, J., Meinshausen, M. & Knutti, R. Global warming under old and new scenarios using IPCC climate sensitivity range estimates. Nature Clim. Change 2, 248–253 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. 35

    Rogelj, J., Meinshausen, M., Sedláček, J. & Knutti, R. Implications of potentially lower climate sensitivity on climate projections and policy. Environ. Res. Lett. 9, 031003 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36

    Direct Benefit Transfer (Ministry of Finance, Government of India, 2015); http://finmin.nic.in/dbt/dbt_index.asp

  37. 37

    Navroz, K. D., Radhika, K., Narasimha, D. R. & Sharma, K. R. Informing India’s Energy and Climate Debate: Policy Lessons from Modelling Studies (Climate Initiative, Centre for Policy Research, 2015).

    Google Scholar 

  38. 38

    Kriegler, E. et al. Making or breaking climate targets: The AMPERE study on staged accession scenarios for climate policy. Technol. Forecast. Soc. Change 90, 24–44 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. 39

    Economic Survey 2014–15 (Ministry of Finance, Government of India, 2015).

  40. 40

    Tavoni, M. et al. The distribution of the major economies’ effort in the Durban platform scenarios. Clim. Change Econ. 4, 1340009 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. 41

    Rao, N. D. Kerosene subsidies in India: When energy policy fails as social policy. Energy Sustain. Dev. 16, 35–43 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. 42

    Bailis, R., Drigo, R., Ghilardi, A. & Masera, O. The carbon footprint of traditional woodfuels. Nature Clim. Change 5, 266–272 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. 43

    Grieshop, A. P., Marshall, J. D. & Kandlikar, M. Health and climate benefits of cookstove replacement options. Energy Policy 39, 7530–7542 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44

    Lim, S. S. et al. A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010 A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 380, 2224–2260 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement no. 308329 (ADVANCE).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

C.C., S.P., N.D.R. and K.R. formulated the research question and conceived the model concept. C.C. implemented the concept by programming and developing the Access model. C.C. and D.M. integrated the Access model into the existing MESSAGE modelling framework. C.C. ran the scenarios. J.R. contributed post-processing analytical tools and input on interpretation of the results, as well as the figures. C.C., S.P. and N.D.R. drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to editing and discussing the paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Shonali Pachauri.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Cameron, C., Pachauri, S., Rao, N. et al. Policy trade-offs between climate mitigation and clean cook-stove access in South Asia. Nat Energy 1, 15010 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nenergy.2015.10

Download citation

Further reading

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing