Property developers and chefs launch global ‘cooksafe’ drive to switch to safe, more efficient cookers

The Global Cooksafe Coalition launched on Monday (21 November) and is a new alliance of leading global chefs and major property developers. The coalition has pledged to install induction cookers in new kitchens by at least 2030 and existing kitchens by 2040 and is calling on the wider industry and government to support the transition to safer, more efficient cooking globally.

Coalition members believe the future of cooking is electric and that their pledge will reduce fossil usage will also improving public health.

Lendlease, a global construction company with $44bn funds under management and $30bn assets is joining the coalition alongside GPT. Chefs including James Lowe, founder of Michelin star restaurant, Lyle’s, Rob Roy Cameron who is Gordon Ramsey’s development chef and Australia’s most influential chefs, Neil Perry, and Le Doyenné’s James Edward Henry, have all joined the initiative.

“In line with our target to reach absolute zero carbon by 2040, electrification across our global development, construction and investment operations is essential,” said Lendlease Global Head of Sustainability, Cate Harris. “While the transition to electric cooking powered by renewables will take time, it’s already underway and we’re looking forward to working alongside our Coalition partners to drive and accelerate industry change.”.

The UK government is considering ending the installation of gas cookers and boilers in new buildings by 2025 in order to reach Net Zero by 2050 but so far nothing has been formalised. It was recently reported that Scottish ministers are considering phasing out gas boilers by 2025.

But the problem is much more pronounced across the globe. Almost 800 million people cannot access electricity at present, and the figure stands at 2.6 billion for those who cannot access clean cooking fuels.

Sustainable Energy for All’s Energising Finance report found that investment for residential electricity in 20 countries home to 76% of the global population without electricity was less than one-third of the $41bn that is estimated to be needed globally per year. Finance also fell dismally short of the $4.5bn required for clean cooking.

In terms of health, gas stoves have been proven to leak methane and other pollutants, while a new study released in October 2022, found that unburned gas contains harmful air pollutants including toluene, hexene, xylenes, and benzene. Benzene has been linked to anaemia, reproductive disorders, and various forms of cancer.

Elsewhere, research shows that children in homes with gas stoves have a 42% increased risk of getting asthma. Indeed, a 2018 study estimated that cooking with gas is responsible for up to 12% of the burden of childhood asthma in Australia.

“Parents would be shocked to learn that a child living with gas cooking in the home faces a comparable risk of asthma to a child living with household cigarette smoke. In fact, cooking with gas is estimated to be responsible for up to 12% percent of the childhood asthma burden in Australia,” said Dr Kate Charlesworth, public health physician and Climate Councillor.

“Gas – just like coal – is a fossil fuel that’s driving the climate crisis. It has no place in our homes. We need to be doing everything possible to improve health outcomes for our children, and that means getting gas out of our homes as well as out of our energy mix to protect future generations from worsening climate impacts.”

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