NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Fuel Efficient Stoves in East Africa: Reducing Emissions and Improving Livelihoods [NDF C3 B3]

The project aims to provide access to affordable and clean burning energy efficient cook stoves to households in four East African countries, including the development of a Clean Development Mechanism Programme of Activities.

Kenya,Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda
Fuel Efficient Stoves in East Africa: Reducing Emissions and Improving Livelihoods
Ref: NDF C3 B3

Nordic Partner: CARE Danmark (Denmark)
Local Partner: Uganda Carbon Bureau Ltd. (UCB) and CARE International in Uganda
Other Partner: CARE International in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya
Total Project Cost: EUR 838,923
NCF Financing: EUR 343,842
Agreement Signed: 27 October 2010
Project Type: Climate change mitigation
Duration: 69 months (completed)

Project Objective

Providing access to affordable and sustainable energy services in the form of clean burning energy efficient cook stoves to households in four East African countries, including the development of a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Programme of Activities for improved cook stoves.


90% of the population in East Africa cook with charcoal or firewood using inefficient cook stoves. This has led to severe deforestation in the region and negative health impacts due to indoor air pollution caused by the smoke. The project provides households with sustainable access to affordable improved cookstoves (ICS). Improving affordability of these cook stoves will be achieved via a CDM Programme of Activities (PoA) that will provide stove suppliers with access to the CDM carbon market, and hence funds to initiate and implement improved cook stove projects.

Specifically, the project has facilitated the establishment of CDM PoA and supports the strengthening of cook stove suppliers in the three countries of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. A total of eight component project activities (CPAs) have been included. (No CPAs were included in Tanzania). The PoA can continue for 28 years financed by revenue from the selling of CDM carbon credits - Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), i.e. well beyond NCF financing. Additional countries and CPAs can be added depending on the development of the carbon market.

Final beneficiaries are the end-users of the ICS and people gaining new jobs and skills throughout the supply chain. So far 22,000 households have been benefiting from ICS distributed by the PoA. ICS also reduce time spent collecting firewood and lead to fuel savings and reduction in indoor air pollution

Relevance for Climate Change

The PoA improves energy efficiency by reducing the consumption of non-renewable biomass through the creation of a larger market for improved cook stoves, where the customers have the choice to buy new stoves at more affordable prices. By substituting the traditional inefficient cook stove technology with clean burning and energy efficient stoves the project will mitigate climate change by reducing GHG emissions. In addition the reduced consumption of firewood and charcoal will reduce pressure on the natural forests and thus reduce deforestation.

The project’s core focus has been the creation of a first multi-country CDM/Gold Standard PoA to make carbon finance accessible to many organisations supplying improved cookstoves in East Africa.

Despite the multiple obstacles that were encountered, this goal was achieved and PoA 7014 Improved Cook Stoves for East Africa (“ICSEA”) was registered. The first issuance and sales of 4,052 CERs linked to the first CPA were completed. Together with an estimated additional amount of approximately 30,000 tCO2e, also from CPA1, the project is considered to have reduced about 34,000 tCO2e over the implementation period. Emission reduction potential per year is tens of thousands of tonnes. Besides the positive mitigation impact of the project, by reducing the consumption of firewood and charcoal the project also reduces the pressure on natural forests leading to an increase of the adaptive capacity to climate change.

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

Since the cost of setting up a CDM PoA requires considerable resources a public private partnership between private sector companies such as the Uganda Carbon Bureau, NGOs such as CARE, and NCF was needed to kick start the transformation of the cookstove market. The project is innovative as utilising funding from NCF to leverage high match funding from the private sector in developing a market-driven funding mechanism for improved cookstoves. The project’s “open source” approach is also innovative since it allows many different types of organisations to enter the stove market as suppliers with several different stove models. This will create an effective competitive market among suppliers of improved cook stoves. The project consisted of two components which helped transfer knowledge to the three countries. The first component supported the design and registration of the CDM cookstove PoA, and the second component consisted of the establishment of a Support Facility for Improved Cook Stoves, which has supported selected stove supplier organisations that have the potential to join the PoA.

The project was the first registration of a multi-country PoA in the world. It has also since pioneered the addition of a second methodology, which provides a major incentive for ICS projects to include a fuel switch component and allows cookstove users who are switching to sustainable biomass fuels (e.g. sustainable wood waste, briquettes and pellets) to earn carbon credits at a higher rate than just using an improved stove. This feature can be seen as important from the point of view that efficient cookstoves as such are a partial - though effective - solution to climate change challenges if the fuel used is not switched away from non-renewable charcoal to the use of briquettes made from biomass waste. A supporting suite of legal agreements and management templates has also been developed, some of which are now in the public domain.

Listen to Bill Farmer, chair, Uganda Carbon Bureau talk about the POA that is a result of this project and view the film made by the CDM.

For more information

UCB Final Summary Report 2017
ICSEA PoA: An Energy Efficiency Program

Uganda Carbon Bureau Ltd
CARE Danmark