Since its launch in early 2012, all four country programs have completed phase I and started implementation of phase II. The first EAP CSI regional
forum was held in March 2013 in Cambodia. The second EAP CSI forum is coming next week. The following summarized the main achievements so far.

 

  ·        Completed in-depth assessments of the existing stove market (demand and supply) and review of the sector’s
institutions, policies, and key programs in four CSI countries.

 

        Raised the issue on the policy agenda by identifying and strengthening institutional champions and conducting broad
national consultations.

 

        Provided key recommendations/roadmap to scale up access to clean cooking/heating solutions based on country specific
conditions including a new business model: Results-Based Financing Framework.

 

        Generated a number of knowledge products which have been used to engage and raise awareness of stakeholders and share
knowledge and experiences to date. There are 13 published knowledge products under EAP CSI Knowledge Exchange Series. 

 

        Formed a platform for cross-country learning, sharing, and collaboration through frequent communication and active sharing of resources and expertise among four country teams and strengthened engagement with key regional and international players.

 

What are the key lessons learned to date?

 

  • Country-specific action plan (road map) is needed and phased approach is appropriate. Although there are common barriers, best solution to solving the problem will vary from one place to another because of differences in behavior, culture, resources, institutions, market conditions, etc. For example, China has historically implemented a national program and established a clean stove market. While there is basically no market for clean stoves in Indonesia and Lao PDR. In the case of Mongolia, a large scale stove switching program in UB is ongoing. Therefore, country-specific action plan (road map) that taking into account of country conditions is needed. The phased approach that having the first phase of stocktaking and developing country-specific action plan, the second phase of capacity building and piloting and then scaling up in phase III seems appropriate.

 

  • Subsidies will be needed to achieve universal access to modern cooking and heating solutions. Analogous to universal access to electricity, which no country has achieved without some form of subsidy, subsidies will be needed to achieve universal access to modern cooking and heating solutions and scaled-up access to clean stoves for poor. Market forces and mechanisms are powerful tools for ensuring a sustainable supply of clean cooking stoves and should be harnessed in a way that helps the private sector develop, market, and deliver modern cooking solutions. However, if left to market forces alone, access will be limited by affordability and other constraints that affect mainly poor households, particularly in less developed and more remote areas. Thus, government policies are needed to establish and maintain adequate levels of subsidies and (ii) design and implement effective subsidy allocation mechanisms to mobilize and sustain private-sector participation in scaling up access to clean stoves.

 

  • Results-based financing (RBF) is a promising approach to use public resources to incentivize the market. The RBF framework developed under EAP CSI includes three key building blocks—(1) defined clean stoves, (2) results-based incentives, and (3) a monitoring and verification (M&V) system—supported by two pillars—(1) institutional strengthening and capacity building and (2) awareness-raising campaigns. It provides a way to attract public funding for broad public benefits (such as improved health, better gender equality, improved life quality, job creation, better environment, and climate change mitigation) and use market mechanism for sustainability. The RBF approach is currently being piloted in China and Indonesia. Mongolia is already using the approach through the ongoing Ulaanbaatar Clean Air project. Lao PDR is also exploring it connecting to health impacts in particular. The detailed structure could vary significantly from country to country. For example, in China and Mongolia where government subsidies already exist, special considerations are needed on sustainability and adjustment of subsidy levels. In Indonesia and Lao PDR where private sector capacity is low, special efforts are needed on technical assistance and capacity building to the private sector.
  • Clean stove standards, testing protocols, and certification systems are cornerstones for development of a clean stove market. Without such systems, incentive mechanisms would not be designed properly and attract the sophisticated private sector with high quality stoves in the market. Such systems are needed in each country, taking into consideration local conditions and best international practices, but they should not wait for the adoption of international standards which will take longer to develop.

 

  • Developing an institutional framework and building policy-making capacity are critical to achieving the CSI objectives. Without clear and sustained political commitment to the CSI objectives and accountable institutions with adequate capacity in program implementation, the risk of energy poverty in the EAP region could increase in the future, particularly among poor and vulnerable households in remote rural areas. This risk carries an unbearable human cost of many premature deaths and respiratory disease among those exposed to HAP linked to the inefficient burning of solid cooking fuels using traditional cooking methods. Fewer deaths and better health are a powerful platform for mobilizing political commitment and creating a strong institutional framework for eliminating the extreme energy poverty associated with the use of solid fuels and primitive cookstoves. The cost of the CSI and achievement of universal access to modern cooking and heating solutions in the participating EAP countries is insignificant compared to the cost of many lost lives and years of productive work, not to mention additional benefits such as improved gender equality, job creation, and climate change mitigation.

 

Do you agree with these lessons learned? What do you want to add from your experience?