In addition to the global analysis, the researchers are using the same model to evaluate the sustainability of wood fuel resources in three case studies: Honduras, Kenya, and the Indian state of Karnataka.
“Even within a given country the situation varies a great deal,” said Drigo. “Some areas are over-exploited while others are under-exploited or totally untouched. A better understanding of the relationship between supply and demand requires this type of spatial approach to clarify what the impacts of different policies will be.”
Emissions from wood fuels account for about 1.9 to 2.3 percent of global emissions, the study says. The deployment of 100 million improved cookstoves could reduce this by 11 to 17 percent, said Bailis, who also studies the factors
that influence the adoption of cleaner cookstoves in developing nations.
These reductions would be worth more than $1 billion per year in avoided greenhouse gas emissions if black carbon were integrated into carbon markets, he said.
“We need to be able to understand where these different components of non-renewability are coming from in order to get a better sense of the positive impacts of putting stoves into peoples' homes or promoting transitions to cooking with gas or electricity,” he said.
The research was funded by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, an initiative supported by the UN Foundation.