Globally, nearly three billion people still cook food and warm their homes using solid fuels, such as wood or charcoal. It is estimated that daily exposure to smoke from open fires and basic cookstoves contributes to four million premature deaths each year, with women and children most affected. Furthermore, the time spent searching for wood and other fuels takes millions of women and children away from earning a living or attending school, and inefficient cookstoves contribute increased emissions of greenhouse gases and black carbon, or soot, to the atmosphere.

Encouraging the use of specially designed clean cookstoves, which can significantly reduce fuel use, cooking time and emissions, is an internationally recognised solution.

“Nearly half of the world’s population do not have access to modern energy that is safe, reliable and affordable,” said Hugh Mitchell, Chief Human Resources and Corporate Officer, Royal Dutch Shell plc. “Cooperation among business, government and society is essential to addressing such a large-scale challenge.

“The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a strong example of how collaboration across sectors can help bring modern energy solutions to the developing world. Shell is pleased to continue its support for the Alliance to encourage the widespread adoption of cleaner, more efficient cookstoves and fuels.”

The Alliance is a public-private partnership founded in 2010 by the United Nations Foundation. Shell became a founding partner to make a positive impact on a global energy-related challenge.

The Alliance aims to switch 100 million homes to clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020. It targets the market barriers that impede the production, deployment and use of clean cookstoves in developing countries.

Shell’s $6 million donation announced today will be phased, and brings Shell’s total donation to the Alliance to $12 million during the period of 2011-2016.

“From day one, Shell has been a tremendously effective and engaged partner in the Alliance’s efforts to support entrepreneurs and raise awareness about this little known issue,” said Radha Muthiah, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “Shell’s renewed commitment to the Alliance, in conjunction with its multifaceted expertise and global reach, will enable us to deepen our in-country market-development activities, and help to spur the adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels at scale.”

Shell’s contribution is targeted to maximise its impact, and so far has been directed towards the development of global standards, regional testing centers and a market assessment toolkit for the cookstoves sector. Market assessments funded by Shell were carried out in Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa and Timor Leste, and are underway in China. In addition, Shell helped launch “Spark Fund” in 2012, which provides grant capital to scale up enterprises that have the potential to transform the cookstoves sector.

Shell’s support builds on work of Shell Foundation, an independent charity. For more than 10 years, Shell Foundation has been active in developing the clean cookstoves market as a way to deliver social and environmental impact at scale. It works across the value chain to pioneer sustainable ways to supply stoves to homes in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and to tackle market barriers such as affordability, customer awareness and rural distribution. This work has benefited more than four million people. Shell Foundation’s efforts to convene networks of practitioners led to the creation of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves with the UN Foundation in 2010.


International Media Relations: +44 20 7934 5550

USA: +1 713 241 4544


Notes to editors

Access to energy

Globally more than 1.2 billion people are without access to electricity and 2.8 billion people rely on wood or other biomass to cook and heat their homes, according to the World Bank. More than 95% of these people are either in sub-Saharan African or developing Asia, and 80% are in rural areas.

Access to modern energy is widely recognised as a critical enabler of economic and social development. It allows communities to build new roads, hospitals and schools. Families can heat, cool and light their homes, and safely prepare warm meals. Numerous studies have shown that energy access is fundamental to reducing poverty, increasing productivity, enhancing competitiveness, and promoting economic growth.

According to the International Energy Agency, achieving universal access to energy by 2030 could cost the world around $1 trillion in cumulative investment – or about $49 billion per year – which is less than a 5% increase on what is currently invested in energy each year.

Clean cooking solutions

For many in the developing world, cooking food, boiling water and heating or cooling their homes can be fraught with challenges. Women and children can face severe personal risks as they search for fuel, especially near refugee camps and in conflict zones. Daily exposure to the harmful smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires is said to contribute to four million premature deaths annually with women and young children the most affected, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Inefficient cookstoves also contribute to climate change through the emissions of greenhouse gasses and black carbon, or soot. Time spent collecting fuel could be better spent on income generation, education or other activities. Where fuel must be purchased, the cost places a high burden on families struggling to meet their basic needs.

Fortunately, the prospects for success are stronger than ever before. Cleaner, more fuel efficient cookstoves now exist that, if deployed in large numbers, could alleviate pressure on natural resources, reduce environmental impacts, provide health benefits and provide new economic opportunities for women and their families.

Shell and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Shell’s core business is providing innovative energy solutions. Energy access is a key theme of Shell’s social investment strategy worldwide. Shell is leveraging its financial contribution to the Alliance by bringing technical and business skills to help the Alliance achieve its goals. Through the secondment of a Shell professional, Shell has provided business expertise to attract financing to the cookstoves sector. The secondee is helping the Alliance attract investors and increasing access to carbon finance for clean cooking enterprises. Shell is also raising awareness across its networks and helping to recruit more public and private partners for the Alliance.  

Shell Foundation

Shell Foundation is an independent charity set up by Shell in 2000 to catalyse enterprise-based solutions to tackle global development challenges at scale and in ways that are sustainable. Shell Foundation has pioneered a model that uses business thinking, patient grant funding and extensive business support to address issues such as access to energy, urban mobility and sustainable job creation. It now has several long-term partners that are achieving large-scale impact across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Royal Dutch Shell plc

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 80 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit


Watch These Videos

Black Inside: Three Women’s Voices

This documentary was awarded the coveted Grand Prix for Best Corporate Film at the Deauville Green Awards in Deauville, France, April 2013.

Sarah's Story (Kenya)

Vandana's Story (India)

Monica's Story (Peru)


Cautionary Note

The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate entities. In this announcement "Shell", "Shell Group" and "Royal Dutch Shell" are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words "we", "us" and "our" are also used to refer to subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies. "Subsidiaries", "Shell subsidiaries" and "Shell companies" as used in this announcement refer to companies in which Shell either directly or indirectly has control, by having either a majority of the voting rights or the right to exercise a controlling influence. The companies in which Shell has significant influence but not control are referred to as "associated companies" or "associates" and companies in which Shell has joint control are referred to as "jointly controlled entities". In this announcement, associates and jointly controlled entities are also referred to as "equity-accounted investments". The term "Shell interest" is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect (for example, through our 23 per cent shareholding in Woodside Petroleum Ltd.) ownership interest held by Shell in a venture, partnership or company, after exclusion of all third-party interest.

This announcement contains forward looking statements concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Shell and the Shell Group. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management's current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Shell and the Shell Group to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as "anticipate", "believe", "could", "estimate", "expect", "goals", "intend", "may", "objectives", "outlook", "plan", "probably", "project", "risks", "seek", "should", "target", "will" and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Shell and the Shell Group and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward looking statements included in this announcement, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell's products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions. All forward looking statements contained in this announcement are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements. Additional factors that may affect future results are contained in Shell's 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2012 (available at and These factors also should be considered by the reader.  Each forward looking statement speaks only as of the date of this announcement, 26th September 2013. Neither Shell nor any of its subsidiaries nor the Shell Group undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward looking statements contained in this announcement.

More in Media

Contact Media Relations

Find out how to contact our Media Relations team across the world.

Email alerts and social media

Keep up to date with developments at Shell via email alerts, Twitter or other social media.

You might also be interested in


Keep up to date with our share price, quarterly results and upcoming events.

Our major projects

Shell’s major projects show our technology and expertise in action.