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Upfront Investment in New Cookstoves Project in Nigeria

First Climate steps up cooperation with project developer Impact Carbon

First Climate and Impact Carbon have intensified their partnership and now expanded their efforts to generate climate action to Nigeria. As the exclusive marketing partner, First Climate invested through a pre-payment to start the development of the project. On site, First Climate team members now got first-hand insights into the manufacturing, sales, and use of the cookstoves.

Recently, First Climate had the opportunity to conduct a site visit to Nigeria, the newest project location of the ongoing collaboration with improved cookstove (ICS) projects managed by Impact Carbon. Following on the heels of cookstove projects in Uganda where more than hundreds of thousands of improved cookstoves have already been distributed, Nigeria is the latest focus region of Impact Carbon and their mission to counter local deforestation and improve people’s livelihoods.

“As a social enterprise operating in several low-income countries throughout Africa, Impact Carbon envisions making improved cookstoves affordable and accessible to everyone,” says Tim Neville, COO of Impact Carbon and responsible for the implementation of the project. Neville goes on to say, “in Nigeria there is a huge potential to create positive impact through facilitating the use of improved cookstoves and it makes us incredibly proud to be able to contribute to a more sustainable use of energy in the country. We are aiming to distribute over 500,000 cookstoves within the next 5 years, thus enabling emissions reductions of approximately 5 million tons of carbon dioxide.”

Social benefits in addition to positive climate impact

On the recent project visit, Yves Keller and Delia Brändli from First Climate, discussed the next steps in the development of the project with the Impact Carbon team. There, they had the opportunity to gain first-hand impressions of the positive developments that are triggered by the project. “Besides the increased production capacity, we were impressed by the passion that Impact Carbon and their local partners bring into their everyday work, always aiming at improving people’s lives,” say Delia and Yves in unison. In addition to visiting cookstove production sites and markets where the efficient cookstoves are sold, the team also had the chance to speak to end-users – mainly women – who remarked that they highly appreciate the time and costs that the new cookstoves save them compared to the traditional cookstoves since they use up to 50% less charcoal or firewood and conserve heat more efficiently.

High potential for improving energy efficiency

In Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa, about 90 million people still cook family meals on traditional, inefficient stoves using firewood or charcoal. Not only does this accelerate deforestation already occurring at an alarming pace, but it also has negative effects on people’s health due to exposure to indoor smoke created by inefficient cooking. Moreover, it exacerbates poverty levels since households spend a significant portion of their income on fuel or personal time collecting fuel wood – time and money that could be spent elsewhere. Thereby, the distribution of cookstoves contributes to some of the main global challenges, such as reducing poverty, improving health and well-being, promoting economic growth, and, of course, combatting climate change.

Expanding the production of clean cooking solutions

Aiming at facilitating access to energy efficient cooking technology for as many people as possible, Impact Carbon provides important support to local manufacturers and sellers of improved cookstoves to increase quality and cost-effectiveness of the stoves and to scale their businesses. Thanks to carbon finance, the efficient cookstoves can be sold at a subsidized price, aiming to reach the part of the population that needs them the most. To date, Impact Carbon and their local partners have already delivered improved cookstoves to over twenty thousand households, avoiding over 100,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

While the adoption rate of efficient cookstoves is still relatively low in comparison to the overall number of households in Nigeria, awareness about their benefits is increasing, and the main challenge for Impact Carbon and their local partners is being able to manufacture enough cookstoves to meet the high demand. To enable the scaling-up of the cookstove manufacturing and distribution, First Climate has invested in the project to support Impact Carbon’s work on the ground thus pre-financing the implementation of the project. “It’s impressive to see the positive impact that this project has already generated, and we are excited to be able to contribute to these positive developments together with our friends and partners of Impact Carbon.”, says Yves Keller, Portfolio Manager at First Climate.



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