LeGrand Speaks At Clean Cooking Conference, Promotes Healthier Air In Africa

Earlier this week, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and CEO Ryan LeGrand took the stage in Paris at the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) Summit for Clean Cooking in Africa to encourage Sub-Saharan policymakers to unlock supply chain bottlenecks to bring ethanol to the marketplace for clean cooking.

“As a proponent of human health and the environment, USGC members stand ready to support clean cooking with sustainable supplies of bioethanol,” LeGrand said. “We are here to work in tandem with a network of policymakers responsible for standards and regulations; equipment manufacturers; farm organizations; educators and chefs; as well as the full spectrum of the bioethanol industry value chain of professionals to advance carbon emission reduction solutions.”

USGC Manager of Global Ethanol Policy and Sustainability Linda Schmid was also in attendance to represent the Council’s ethanol department as it advocates for greater adoption of biofuels across a wide array of applications.

One in three Africans cook over open fires that use wood, charcoal, animal waste and other polluting fuels to operate. This has severe respiratory consequences, particularly for women and children, who traditionally work in the home, and contributes to deforestation and reduces biodiversity. A switch to clean cooking stoves will alleviate the heavy burden of collecting firewood for hours at a time and exposure to toxic fumes.

Summit participants included government officials from 50 nations and more than 75 representatives from the private sector, international organizations and philanthropies. Council staff engaged in one-on-one discussions with attendees focused on the need for infrastructure investment, reduction of tariffs, and lowering of value-added tax (VAT) on clean cookstove components and ethanol. USGC emphasized the need for coordination across energy, finance and agricultural ministries to bring clean cooking with ethanol to fruition.