Home2025: Kitchen


Preparing food and sharing it with family and friends is central to home life around the world, yet few of us think about how the way we cook contributes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In fact, more than one third of global GHG emissions could be saved through innovative designs, business models and policies.

But the path to lower carbon cooking is not the same for all countries.

Nearly 2.7 billion people – almost 40% of the world’s population and about half of those living in developing countries – rely on biomass for cooking, which constitutes the highest energy end-use. Coupled with traditional cookstoves, this way of cooking creates a highly inefficient combustion process that emits not only CO2 but also harmful indoor air pollution, causing 1.3 million premature deaths in 2010.

Opportunities for energy improvements are greatest in developing countries, where upgrades can happen at a lower cost and on a wider scale, with potential fuel inputs reductions of up to 80%.

And globally, the potential for GHG emission reductions from improved cookstove projects is estimated to be around 1 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide per year. It’s clear that tackling cooking inefficiency not only reduces emissions, but addresses urgent health issues.


The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, hosted by the UN Foundation, is at the forefront of efforts to promote the adoption of clean cooking solutions and spur universal adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels. The Alliance has an ambitious 10-year goal to foster the adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels in 100 million households by 2020

In homes equipped with electric or gas ovens however, the story varies depending on the country. In Europe, electric ovens are the biggest consumers, followed by electric hobs, gas hobs and gas ovens. While energy consumption from cooking is a lower priority than tackling energy from heat or electricity more broadly, the savings could still be 42% in electric ovens if the latest technologies were used.

But where large potential energy savings exist, only 15% are cost effective. If costs cannot drive the shift alone, creative thinking about how to incentivize different patterns of energy use should not be overlooked. Intelligent design of space and appliances can have a big impact on our behavior without any additional cost, as IKEA outlines in its Home2025 contribution.


How we transition both the 40% of the world currently using biomass for cooking and the billions with inefficient electric or gas cooking solutions, depends on the rapid scale-up of standards and policy, as well as design and technology innovation.

More contributions to Home2025 are coming soon.


Join in the conversation on Twitter using #Home2025.
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