Verifying impacts of improved cookstoves program
The "atmosfair improved cookstoves program" is a nationwide effort in Rwanda to distribute more energy-efficient biomass cooking stoves to low-income rural households and refugees in Rwanda. The stoves reduce non-renewable wood fuel use and cut indoor air pollution from traditional fires. Many of the recipients live below the poverty line and lack access to modern energy sources. The program was developed by atmosfair, a nonprofit company based in Germany and dedicated to climate protection and renewable energy projects. It developed the program under the Gold Standard and Clean Development Mechanism international carbon offset schemes and finances the program using revenue from the sale of carbon credits.
ERM CVS provided verification of the carbon emission reductions and sustainable development impacts associated with this initiative. The approach involved house-to-house surveys in remote rural areas and in UN refugee camps. ERM's CVS survey techniques took into account the local culture and customs and incorporated an understanding of cooking practices. The verification represents the first-ever issuance of Gold Standard carbon credits to a cooking stove project in Rwanda.
More than 3,000 households are now using the efficient stoves distributed by the program. Households in refugee camps received the stoves free of charge, and other beneficiaries were able to purchase the stoves at a heavily subsidized price. Atmosfair has ensured that the refugees are actively involved in the assembly, distribution and user training of the new stoves and has conducted training workshops for all the refugees involved.