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S. 3233: Clean Cooking Support Act


The text of the bill below is as of Nov 18, 2021 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 3233

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 18, 2021

(for herself and Mr. Durbin) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

A BILL

To help increase the development, distribution, and use of clean cookstoves and fuels to improve health, protect the climate and environment, empower women, create jobs, and help consumers save time and money.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Clean Cooking Support Act.

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

Almost 3,000,000,000 people, representing more than one-third of the global population, rely on open fires or inefficient, polluting, and unsafe cookstoves using wood, charcoal, kerosene, agricultural waste, animal dung, coal, or other fuels. The majority of people using these types of cookstoves and fuels are in developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

(2)

Smoke from the use of traditional cookstoves and open fires contribute to household air pollution that causes illnesses that disproportionately affect women and young children. Such illnesses include low birth weight, pneumonia, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and other respiratory illnesses.

(3)

The household air pollution caused by traditional cookstoves and open fires claims 4,000,000 premature deaths annually, including 400,000 children younger than 5 years of age, most of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. Household air pollution does not remain in the home and contributes to more than 10 percent of global ambient air pollution. In some countries, such as Nepal, household air pollution contributes to more than 30 percent of ambient air pollution. In 2019, more than 600,000 deaths were attributed to ambient air pollution stemming from the household combustion of solid fuels.

(4)

According to the World Health Organization, the large-scale use of wood, charcoal, and kerosene for traditional cooking fuel accounts for 1.5–3.0 percent of global CO2 emissions, which is a significant contributor to air pollution.

3.

Statement of policy

It is the policy of the United States to reduce the adverse effects of household energy use in its foreign assistance programs and activities, as appropriate, including through—

(1)

applied research and development to improve design, lower costs, promote technology adoption, conduct health research and evaluation, and develop global industry standards and testing protocols for cookstoves and fuels to help ensure minimum standards for efficiency and emissions to lower health and environmental impacts;

(2)

diplomatic engagement to encourage a commercial market for clean cookstoves and fuels, reduce trade barriers, promote consumer awareness, improve access to large-scale carbon financing and other investment, and foster women-owned businesses along the entire business value chain;

(3)

international development projects to help build commercial businesses to manufacture, market, distribute, sell, and service clean cookstoves and fuels;

(4)

development efforts related to refugee camps, disaster relief, and long-term humanitarian and empowerment programs aimed at assisting women, girls, and other vulnerable populations;

(5)

financing or insurance to support projects that provide access to clean, affordable energy and energy savings through the manufacture, sale, and purchase of clean cookstoves and fuels;

(6)

dissemination of cookstove standards to lower environmental and health impacts associated with cook stoves through the International Organization for Standardization process for household, institutional, or commercial use; and

(7)

political engagement with low-to-middle-income countries to include cookstove and household energy emission reduction goals in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), guidance on implementation of the NDCs, and monitoring and verification frameworks.

4.

Clean Cooking Interagency Working Group

(a)

Establishment

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall jointly establish the Clean Cooking Interagency Working Group (referred to in this section as the Working Group), consisting of representatives from the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, and any other Federal agency that the Secretary and the Administrator may designate to assist with overseeing the planning, management, and coordination of initiatives to increase the number of clean cookstoves and fuels worldwide.

(b)

Responsibilities

The Working Group shall—

(1)

establish goals and priorities for increasing the number of clean cookstoves and fuels worldwide; and

(2)

provide for interagency coordination, including budget coordination, of activities under this Act.

(c)

Governance

The Secretary of State and the Administrator of United States Agency for International Development, or their designees, shall serve as co-chairs of the Working Group.

(d)

Meetings

Members of the Working Group shall meet not later than 90 days after the Working Group is established pursuant to subsection (a), and quarterly thereafter, to carry out the responsibilities described in subsection (b).

5.

Clean cooking program

(a)

Department of State; United States Agency for International Development

The Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall work with the Clean Cooking Alliance, founded in 2010—

(1)

to engage in a wide range of diplomatic activities, including with countries across the globe and with United States embassies abroad, to support activities of the Clean Cooking Alliance and the clean cookstoves and fuels sector;

(2)

to continue the clean cooking initiatives supported by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, an intergovernmental organization formed in 2012, to reduce emissions of climate pollutants;

(3)

to advance programs that support the adoption of affordable cookstoves that require less fuel to meet household energy needs and release fewer pollutants, as a means to improve health, reduce environmental degradation, mitigate climate change, foster economic growth, and empower women; and

(4)

to carry out other activities authorized under this Act.

(b)

Department of Energy

The Secretary of Energy shall work with the Clean Cooking Alliance—

(1)

to conduct research to spur development of low-cost, low-emission, high-efficiency cookstoves through research in areas such as combustion, heat transfer, and materials development;

(2)

to conduct research to spur development of low-emission, high-efficiency energy sources;

(3)

to support innovative small businesses in the United States that are developing advanced cookstoves and improved cookstove assessment devices; and

(4)

to carry out other activities authorized under this Act.

(c)

National Institutes of Health

The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall work with the Clean Cooking Alliance—

(1)

to support health research and training to improve the health and lives of those at risk from household burning of solid fuels, including—

(A)

dedicated resources for research on household air pollution to ensure adoption of life-saving interventions and policy formulation; and

(B)

regional network research and training hubs in global environmental health and occupational health with a household air pollution focus; and

(2)

to carry out other activities authorized under this Act.

(d)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shall work with the Clean Cooking Alliance—

(1)

to evaluate cookstove and fuel programs to better understand their public health benefits and key determinants of adoption;

(2)

to promote a better understanding of the relationship between human exposures and health outcomes from the use of rudimentary cookstoves and open fires; and

(3)

to carry out other activities authorized under this Act.

(e)

Environmental Protection Agency

The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall work with the Clean Cooking Alliance—

(1)

to conduct cookstove and fuel testing and evaluation in the lab and in the field, including by—

(A)

evaluating energy efficiency and air pollutant emissions that impact human health and the environment;

(B)

building the capacity of regional stove testing and knowledge centers around the world; and

(C)

developing international standards regarding fuel use, emissions, and safety of cookstoves and fuels;

(2)

to conduct climate, health, and air quality research, including with United States institutions of higher education, regarding the air quality and climatic benefits of interventions for cookstoves and residential burning, and to continue the clean cooking initiatives supported by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to reduce emissions of climate pollutants;

(3)

to provide technical and policy expertise and to help the Clean Cooking Alliance align with ongoing international efforts in the field; and

(4)

to carry out other activities authorized under this Act.

(f)

Other Federal agencies

Other Federal agencies may engage with the Clean Cooking Alliance or other agencies, as appropriate, to further the policy described in section 3.

6.

Reporting requirements

(a)

Defined term

In this section, the term appropriate congressional committees means—

(1)

the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

(2)

the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

(3)

the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and

(4)

the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

(b)

Annual report

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the President shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees that describes the progress made to further the policy described in section 3.

(c)

Information included in reports

Each report submitted pursuant to subsection (b) shall include—

(1)

the indicators used by the Department of State and each Federal agency participating in the interagency working group established pursuant to section 4(a) to monitor and evaluate the progress made by each such agency to further the policy described in section 3;

(2)

data pertaining to populations served in United States Government-funded cookstoves and fuels programming;

(3)

information regarding United States Government investments in clean cookstoves and fuels programming, including funding that has been planned, appropriated, obligated, or expended during the most recently concluded fiscal year and cumulatively for the 5 most recently concluded fiscal years; and

(4)

information regarding the progress made toward increasing collaboration among Federal agencies to further the policy described in section 3, including interagency research efforts and collaboration with international research partners.

(d)

Public availability

The President shall make the report required under subsection (b) available to the public.

7.

Authorizations of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal years 2022 through 2027 such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act.