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How do cookstove projects generate carbon credits?


Nearly 2.4 billion people rely on firewood and charcoal (woodfuel) for household cooking. As around 30% of the harvested woodfuel is unsustainable (the trees cut are not replanted), the combustion of this wood results in additional GHG emissions into our atmosphere. This is equivalent to around 1.0 Gt CO2e/year or 2% of global emissions. This is more than the CO2emission emitted by Germany in 2019!
Because they are more efficient than traditional open-fires, improved cookstoves allow to reduce the burned wood by at least a factor two and hence limit the additional GHG emissions. But how do we estimate the number of credits (or tCO2e reduced) thanks to the improved cookstoves (ICS) projects? If the principle is straightforward, the methodological approach to estimate the emission reduction must be more elaborated to certify in the most relevant manner the emission of carbon credits. The key parameters for the ER estimations are:

  • Quantity of non-renewable wood saved: based on tests and surveys conducted in real conditions, the woodfuel consumption of the households is evaluated before and after the start of the project. In addition, the fraction of non-renewable biomass is assessed as the net emission reduction are null in case the trees are sustainably replanted.
  • Usage rate: it represents the proportion of stove owners who effectively use it on a daily basis. The parameter may vary depending on the acceptance rate of the technology by local communities. It also depends on the general state of the project stoves as only the project ICS in good condition will generate emission reduction.

Climate project developers, such as CO2logic, carefully monitor those parameters to comply with the rigorous requirements of the methodologies used to evaluate & certify emission reductions.

Figure 1 tiipaalga F3PA cookstove


Figure 2 Ecomakala project,  Goma stove

Figure 3 Surveyers weighting wood during fuel consumption test