Malawi is the focus of an alliance between UpEnergy, a company that uses carbon credits to finance green solutions, and the Zurich, Switzerland-based myclimate foundation. The partnership will enable the implementation of a ten-year project. The goal is to distribute 400,000 green stoves to Malawian households over the next 10 years.
These are improved cookers, since the fuel used will be charcoal, which is the cause of deforestation in sub-Saharan Africa. But unlike conventional cookstoves, these stoves will take less fuel, “45-55% less charcoal, due to their thermal efficiency, and can bring substantial financial benefits to families,” says UpEnergy.
Generating carbon credits
According to the Kampala, Uganda-based company, for an average Malawian household, the savings will be equivalent to almost 18% of annual income. “This reduction in charcoal use also has wider environmental benefits, as it is estimated that one household stove reduces an additional 3.75 tonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere each year. The use of the stoves can also help ease the burden on local forests by reducing deforestation associated with charcoal production,” says the company led by Alex Rau.
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The project is expected to benefit 2 million people in Malawi over the next 10 years. The green stoves distributed are expected to offset more than 5 million tonnes of CO2 in the first decade of the project. This environmental benefit will be converted into carbon credits. According to UpEnergy, these carbon credits will be verified under the Gold Standard, creating a new opportunity for companies to invest in carbon offsets with additional tangible benefits, ranging from indoor air quality to job creation.
Jean Marie Takouleu