Exposure to household air pollution (HAP) is a top-ten risk factor for morbidity and mortality worldwide, and is a leading contributor to the burden of disease around the world. Access to modern energy has been proposed as a basic human right, yet 3 billion people still rely on traditional energy sources (e.g., wood, charcoal, kerosene) to support household needs such as cooking, heating, and lighting. Emissions from traditional energy sources create unhealthy levels of HAP and contribute to the earth’s radiative energy balance; over the next century, anthropogenic climate forcing is expected to inflict a major toll on human health. We seek to help shift the current household energy paradigm to increasingly efficient and sustainable solutions.
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We are a consortium of researchers, academics, and practitioners seeking to enhance and support the adoption of clean, affordable household energy solutions. Our strategy is to build on past successes while addressing both current and emerging challenges in the household energy sector. We seek to: (1) Increase the adoption and use of clean and efficient cooking and heating devices through increased awareness, capacity and the number of individuals/organizations participating in the sector; (2) Reduce the amount of harmful pollutants released into households and the environment from household energy systems; (3) Expedite the transition to cleaner, more efficient household energy systems (including biogas, electricity, ethanol, LPG, pellets, and solar) in domestic and international settings. In support of these objectives, our consortium is leveraging our related experiences in emissions characterization, exposure assessment, health effects research, climate science, education and capacity building, implementation science, impact assessment, community-based participatory research, and gender dynamics in both the US and abroad. (4) Understand and develop energy solutions through interdisciplinary approaches, inclusive of context specific cultural, economic, and technological barriers and opportunities.