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Over two-thirds of Indians use solid fuels to meet daily cooking energy needs, with associated negative environmental, social, and health impacts. Major national initiatives implemented by the Indian government over the last few decades have included subsidies for cleaner burning fuels like liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene to encourage a transition to these. However, the extent to which these programs have affected net emissions from the use of these improved fuels has not been adequately studied. Here, we estimate the amount of fuelwood displaced and its net emissions impact due to improved access to LPG for cooking in India between 2001 and 2011 using nationally representative household expenditure surveys and census datasets. We account for a suite of climate-relevant emissions (Kyoto gases and other short-lived climate pollutants) and biomass renewability scenarios (a fully renewable and a conservative non-renewable case). We estimate that the national fuelwood displaced due to increased LPG access between 2001 and 2011 was approximately 7.2 million tons. On aggregate, we estimate a net emissions reduction of 6.73 MtCO2e due to the fuelwood displaced from increased access to LPG, when both Kyoto and non-Kyoto climate-active emissions are accounted for and assuming 0.3 as the fraction of non-renewable biomass (fNRB) harvested. However, if only Kyoto gases are considered, we estimate a smaller net emissions decrease of 0.03 MtCO2e (assuming fully renewable biomass harvesting), or 3.05 MtCO2e (assuming 0.3 as the fNRB). We conclude that the transition to LPG cooking in India reduced pressures on forests and achieved modest climate benefits, though uncertainties regarding the extent of non-renewable biomass harvesting and suite of climate-active emissions included in such an estimation can significantly influence results in any given year and should be considered carefully in any analysis and policy-making.
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Environ. Res. Lett. 12 (2017) 115003
Environmental payoffs of LPG cooking in India
2and H Zerriffi1
1Department of Forest Resources Management, Faculty of Forestry, 20452424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
2International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)Schlossplatz 1-A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
3Author to whom any correspondence should be addressed.
19 June 2017
29 August 2017
3 October 2017
27 October 2017
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Keywords: clean cooking, liquefied petroleum gas, fuelwood, energy poverty
Supplementary material for this article is available online
Over two-thirds of Indians use solid fuels to meet daily cooking energy needs, with associated
negative environmental, social, and health impacts. Major national initiatives implemented by the
Indian government over the last few decades have included subsidies for cleaner burning fuels like
liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene to encourage a transition to these. However, the extent to
which these programs have affected net emissions from the use of these improved fuels has not been
adequately studied. Here, we estimate the amount of fuelwood displaced and its net emissions impact
due to improved access to LPG for cooking in India between 2001 and 2011 using nationally
representative household expenditure surveys and census datasets. We account for a suite of
climate-relevant emissions (Kyoto gases and other short-lived climate pollutants) and biomass
renewability scenarios (a fully renewable and a conservative non-renewable case). We estimate that
the national fuelwood displaced due to increased LPG access between 2001 and 2011 was
approximately 7.2 million tons. On aggregate, we estimate a net emissions reduction of 6.73 MtCO2e
due to the fuelwood displaced from increased access to LPG, when both Kyoto and non-Kyoto
climate-active emissions are accounted for and assuming 0.3 as the fraction of non-renewable
biomass (fNRB) harvested. However, if only Kyoto gases are considered, we estimate a smaller net
emissions decrease of 0.03 MtCO2e (assuming fully renewable biomass harvesting), or 3.05 MtCO2e
(assuming 0.3 as the fNRB). We conclude that the transition to LPG cooking in India reduced
pressures on forests and achieved modest climate benefits, though uncertainties regarding the extent
of non-renewable biomass harvesting and suite of climate-active emissions included in such an
estimation can significantly influence results in any given year and should be considered carefully in
any analysis and policy-making.
1. Introduction
Almost 40% of the worlds population or 3 billion
individuals (World Bank, IEA 2017) depend on solid
fuels (including traditional biomass such as wood,
crop residue, and dung) to meet their daily household
cooking energy requirements (Arnold et al 2003,Inter-
national Energy Agency 2016,WorldBank,IEA2017).
About a quarter of the global population dependent
on traditional biomass or about 800 million individ-
uals live in India alone, and this burning of biomass
contributes to about 26.60% of total final energy con-
sumption in India. Inefficient combustion of biomass
in traditional stoves has both local as well as global
environmental impacts. Unsustainable harvesting of
fuelwood, especially in densely populated areas, leads
to deforestation (Arnold et al 2003,Foleyet al 2007,
Hosier 1993,McGranahan1991), accelerated degrada-
tion (DeFries and Pandey 2010,Ghilardiet al 2007,
2009, Heltberg et al 2000), and depletion of local
resources (Masera et al 2006). How biomass is har-
vested (sustainably or not) can also have an impact on
the contribution to climate change from the carbon
dioxide (CO2) released (Edwards et al 2004, Hutton
and Rehfuess 2006, Smith et al 2000). Additionally,
burning of biomass contributes to the emissions of
products of incomplete combustion such as black car-
bon (Kar et al 2012, Ramanathan and Carmichael
© 2017 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd
Environ. Res. Lett. 12 (2017) 115003
2008). The resultant household air pollution from inef-
ficient use of solid fuels is one of the top environmental
health risks in developing countries, contributing to
over 4 million deaths globally (WHO 2016). Further-
more, about 25%30% of ambient fine particulate
pollution (PM2.5) inSouthAsia is attributableto house-
hold solid fuel combustion (Chafe et al 2014), making
it a leading contributor to the burden of disease in the
region (Balakrishnan et al 2014,Rehmanet al 2011,
Smith et al 2014). Research has shown that the use of
improved cooking technologies and fuels can signifi-
cantly improve household air quality and human health
from reduced smoke (Dutta et al 2007,WHO2016,
Singh et al 2014), as well as have other social benefits
such as time saved from reduced fuelwood collection
(Brooks et al 2016, Hutton and Rehfuess 2006).
Due to the multiple benefits of improved cooking
technologies and clean fuels, numerous programs in
India to encourage their use have been implemented
since the 1970s. These programs include LPG inter-
ventions, price subsidies, public awareness campaigns,
and improved distribution/delivery mechanisms. The
Indian government in recent years has accelerated
efforts through multiple new programs to increase liq-
uefied petroleum gas (LPG) access to another 50 million
below poverty line households by 2019 (Ministry of
Petroleum and Natural Gas 2016). However, to what
extent past and current policies have enabled a transi-
tion away from fuelwood to cleaner-burning fuels like
LPG, and what the net emissions impacts of this has
been has not been adequately studied.
Transitioning to improved stoves and cleaner mod-
ern fuels (such as LPG) can, in theory, positively
influence forest resources, global climate, local air qu al-
ity, and human health and well-being. Modern fuels,
such as LPG, natural gas and electricity, are viewed
as being the most beneficial from the perspective of
human health as they significantly reduce emissions
of household air pollutants (WHO 2014). However,
households might be transitioning from what could
be a renewable fuel (biomass—depending on how it
is harvested) to a fossil fuel. This raises the question
of the net climate change impact of such a switch.
There has been limited work assessing this potential
trade-off to date. Existing studies include calculations
based on hypothetical stove switch-outs or modeling
of future emissions based on projected stove adoption
(Cameron et al 2016, Freeman and Zerriffi 2012,Ghi-
lardi et al 2009,Pachauriet al 2013). A recent KfW
report provides an overview of the evidence base on the
impact of LPG use on the climate and forests (Bruce
et al 2017).Onegapintheexistingknowledgebase,
highlighted by this and other studies, is the lack of esti-
mations of net climate relevant emissions impacts from
historic data on household fuel switching that reflect
actual conditions of stove use and stacking. This paper
addresses this gap specifically by examining the climate
effect of the switch from fuelwood to LPG cooking in
India over the decade from 2001–2011. Our analysis
includes the estimation of net impacts considering a
suite of various climate-active emissions (Kyoto gases
and other short-lived climate pollutants) and biomass
renewability scenarios (a fully renewable and a 0.3 frac-
tion of non-renewable biomass case). We assess the
aggregate change in fuel consumption and resulting
changes in emissions that occurred as a result of both
the suite of policies put in place as well as the supply-side
and demand-side decisions that were made by compa-
nies and households over this period. However, we are
unable to estimate the effect of specific policies in place
between 2001 and 2011 in transitioning people to the
use of LPG as policy-specific data is unavailable to us.
2. Materials and methods
We assess the net impact on emissions from increased
access to LPG for cooking in Indian households over the
decade from 20012011. In what follows, we describe
our main data sources and methods. A more complete
description of the methods, including data tables, is pre-
sented in the supplementary information (SI) available
fuelwood displaced as the amount of fuelwood not used
(i.e. saved) due to the use of LPG. We focusour research
on India, as it has the largest solid fuel using population
globally, and over two-thirds of Indian households still
depend on these fuels (Government of India 2016,Ki-
Moon 2011,WorldBank,IEA2017). Also, the country
has seen a huge governmental push towards transition-
ing people to the use of cleaner fuels and stoves for over
three decades.
Two key national sources of data on LPG and fuel-
wood access and consumption were utilized in this
Bottom-up estimates of household LPG and fuel-
wood consumption are derived from the large
nationally representative socio-economic surveys
conducted by the National Sample Survey (NSS)
organization (MOSPI 1999,2011).
Data on the total number of households using
wood vs. LPG as their primary fuel are taken
from the Indian national censuses and are used to
scale the bottom-up survey estimates to national
Using the data from thetwo representative national
surveys, NSS rounds 55 (year 19992000) and 68 (year
20112012), we identified primary users of LPG and
fuelwood (those households who identified it is their
main cooking fuel), and secondary users of LPG and
fuelwood (those households who did not identify it as
their main cooking fuel yet consumed some amount of
fuelwood or LPG). In 2011, there were about 70 million
primary users of LPG, and 29 million secondary users
of the fuel (table 1). Both primary and secondary users
Environ. Res. Lett. 12 (2017) 115003
are accounted for in our analysis so that the emissions
impact of stove stacking is included.
Our methodology in this study consists of three key
steps. First, we applied statistical matching techniques
to create a synthetic dataset of matched households
considering the subset of households that gained access
to LPG between 2001 and 2011. In a second step,
we used this synthetic dataset to estimate the amount
of fuelwood displaced due to increased LPG access
in 2011. Finally, we used our estimates of fuelwood
displaced and LPG use in 2011 to estimate the net
emissions impacts of this cooking fuel transition con-
sidering a suite of climate-active emissions and bioma ss
renewability assumptions.
For the statistical matching, we utilized a mixed
method based on DOrazio (2006), which was imple-
mented using the R StatMatch package (R Core Team
2013). The method was applied to create a synthetic
dataset of over 100 000 matched households to exam-
ine changes in household fuel consumption over the
decade in the absence of longitudinal panel data by
matching similar households from the two NSS rounds
55 and 68 based on State, sector (urban/rural), and
caste. Further details regarding the statistical matching
techniques applied are presented in the supplementary
This synthetic dataset was then used in the anal-
ysis that followed. A filter was applied such that only
those households having no access to LPG in 2000
were included in the analysis, regardless of access to
or level of LPG consumption in 2011. To estimate the
amount of fuelwood displaced due to LPG access in
2011, we used a three step Tobit model, based on the
technique in Greene (2003). Our R-code for this analy-
sis was based on the gamma hurdle biological model by
Anderson (2014), which is the same as the Tobit model
used in econometrics. We tested the model using a
range of explanatory variables (urban/rural, LPG quan-
tity, household size, income, caste, employment, and
religion), and the best model was selected based on
the Akaike information criterion (AIC) and log like-
lihood (logLik). AIC estimates the quality of a model
relative to other models, while logLik compares the
fit of different coefficients to maximize optimal val-
ues. By these criteria, the model we selected to predict
firewood use in 2011 included the quantity of LPG con-
sumed, household size and urban/rural as independent
Coefficients of the estimated Tobit model were
then used to predict the amount of annual fuelwood
displaced by an average sized household that gained
access to LPG in 2011. Estimates were made for average
sized urban households and rural households sepa-
rately. Using the census enumeration of number of
households that gained access to LPG between 2001 and
2011, we then estimated the total fuelwood displaced in
2011. These estimates on household LPG consumption
and fuelwood displaced were then ultimately utilized to
calculate the net emissions impact (in million metric
tons of carbon dioxide equivalent or MtCO2e) from
increased LPG access. Net emissions were calculated
utilizing the emissions factors and hundred year global
warming potentials (GWP100 ) from Freeman and Zer-
riffi (2014) for a traditional open fire and an LPG stove.
This includes the uncertainty associated with estimates
of the emission factor based on reported stove testing
If fuelwood is sustainably procured (i.e. renew-
able), the CO2emission from wood is zero, as it is
presumed to be reabsorbed into the ecosystem cycle
during tree growth. However, it is known from lit-
erature that not all fuelwood harvested is renewable
(Bailis et al 2015), and in fact, the fraction of non-
renewable biomass (fNRB) extracted can vary by huge
margins (0%90%) globally. A higher fNRB would
ascribe correspondingly higher emissions to biomass
fuels and a greater benefit of a switch to LPG. In
this work, we consider two cases of fuelwood renewa-
bility: an unrealistic case of fully renewable biomass
(fNRB = 0), and a more realistic but globally conserva-
tive case where we use an estimate of 0.3 as the fNRB.
Cookstove carbon markets tend to use high values hov-
ering at 80% or more, however, Bailis et al (2015)
estimated the national fNRB for India to be around
24 percent. Thus, we assume a conservative 30% as the
fNRB to illustrate the impact of fNRB on emissions
The difference between emissions from fuelwood
displaced and increased LPG use determined our esti-
mates of the net emissions impact from the transition
to LPG cooking in 2011. Net emissions were estimated
under the alternate assumptions of renewability of
biomass extraction as mentioned above, for a restricted
case considering only Kyoto gases (CO2and CH4), and
a more complete case including also emissions of other
important climate-active emissions (CO, non-met hane
hydrocarbons, organic carbon, black carbon (BC), and
3. Results
Basic statistical analysis indicates that the proportion
of Indian households primarily using fuelwood for
cooking decreased by 3.5% even though the total num-
ber of households using fuelwood increased by almost
20 million over the decade 2001 to 2011 (table 1). This
was due to the rapid growth of the Indian population
from approximately 1.02 billion in 2001 to 1.22 billion
in 2011 (Government of India 2016).
At the same time, households using LPG increased
both in number and in percentage over this decade indi-
cating a national trend towards increased use of LPG
as a primary household fuel. However, the proportion
of secondary users of fuelwood also increased (by 9%)
suggesting that households tend to initially stack fuels
before moving primarily to the use of LPG. As we do
not have yearly numbers for LPG access and use over
Environ. Res. Lett. 12 (2017) 115003
Table 1. Descriptive statistics of NSS and Census datasets for 2001 and 2011 (HH = households).
2001 2011
Descriptive statistics # of HH Percent (%) # of HH Percent (%) Source
# of H H 191 963 935 246 740 228 Census
# Urban HH 138 271 559 72.03% 167 874 291 68.04% Census
# Rural HH 53 692 376 27.97% 78 865 937 31.96% Census
Primary LPG HH 33 596 798 17.50% 70 425 518 28.54% Census
Secondary LPG HH 5 050 475 2.63% 29 071 487 11.78% NSS
Primary fuelwood HH 100 842 651 52.53% 120 878 598 48.99% Census
Secondary fuelwood HH 5 050 475 2.63% 29 071 487 11.78% NSS
Table 2. Average LPG consumption and fuelwood displaced by households (HH) in 2011.
Rural Urban Source
Average HH size in 2011 5.11 4.34 Matched data
KG fuelwood displaced per HH yr−1 88.32 242.52 Calculated
# HH gaining access to LPG 2001–2011 11 294 825 25 533 895 Census
Fuelwood (metric tons) displaced yr−1 997 524 6 192 501 Calculated
LPG (metric tons) used in 2011 27 691 189 315 Matched data
Average LPG KG used per HH yr−1 29.42 88.97 Matched data
# HH using LPG in 2011 19 137 351 51 285 532 Census
Figure 1. Change in net emissions of Kyoto gases under differing assumption regarding the fNRB. Error bars depict uncertainty in
emissions ranges due to emission factors utilized.
the decade, we cannot estimate the population moving
from fuelwood and obtaining LPG as a primary fuel,
or using it as a secondary fuel at any point during the
Results of the Tobit model indicate that the total
fuelwood displaced per year, assuming average sized
households, due to increased LPG access in 2011 was
6.19 million tons in urban regions, and 0.99 million
tons in rural regions (table 2). At a national level, this
amounted to a displacement of 7.2 million tons of
fuelwood in 2011. At the same time, the LPG con-
sumption increase due to household gaining access
amounted to approximately 0.028 million tons and
0.189 million tons in rural and urban households
In estimating the emissions of Kyoto gases alone
due to the displacement of fuelwood between 2001
and 2011, the assumption regarding fNRB extraction,
makes a substantial difference. When all fuelwood used
is assumed to be renewably sourced (fNRB = 0) we
estimate a slight net emissions decrease in rural regions
of 0.01 MtCO2e, and in urban regions of 0.02 MtCO2e
in 2011. However, if we conservatively assume a posi-
tive fNRB of 0.3, we estimate a net emissions reduction
of 0.43 MtCO2e in rural, and of 2.62 MtCO2einurban
regions (figure 1). The larger net emissions decrease
estimated for urban households is due to the more
hold consumption of it in urban regions. Furthermore,
the higher net emissions reductions estimated when
assuming a positive fNRB is because the increase in
emissions from LPG use is offset by the reduction
in positive CO2emissions from avoided burning of
non-renewable biomass. The uncertainty in net emis-
sions ranges are due to emission factors utilized from
Freeman and Zerriffi (2014).
When we also consider a suite of non-Kyoto cli-
mate pollutants, in addition to a positive fNRB, our
estimate of net emissions reductions is even higher
at 0.94 MtCO2e in rural and 5.79 MtCO2einurban
Environ. Res. Lett. 12 (2017) 115003
Figure 2. Change in net emissions considering the cases of (a) only Kyoto gases at fNRB = 0.3, (b) other short-lived climate pollutants,
and (c) combined Kyoto and non-Kyoto climate forcers. Error bars depict uncertainty in emissions ranges due to emission factors
regions (figure 2). This is due to the much higher non-
Kyoto climate forcing emissions associated with the
use of traditional biomass stoves as compared to LPG
stoves. Given that there is no well-accepted protocol for
calculating fNRB globally or agreement on the suite of
emissions to account for, there can be large variances
in the net emissions calculated for the same quan-
tity of fuel consumed. Regardless of these associated
uncertainties, however, we still estimate a large reduc-
tion in climate forcing emissions due to the observed
transition from traditional biomass stoves to LPG
stoves in India between 2001 and 2011.
4. Discussion and conclusion
In recent years, there has been a strong revival in global
policy circles to promote a transition to cleaner cooking
given the increasing evidence of the huge environmen-
tal, social and health externalities of solid fuel use. India
has a long history of providing subsidies for cleaner-
burning fuels, specially kerosene and LPG. Recently,
the LPG subsidy burden for the government has been
estimated at aboutUS$6 billion per year ( Shenoy 2010).
Government initiatives in recent years, such as PAHAL,
Give it UP and Ujjwala, could further accelerate the
rate of LPG access. Ujjwala in particular is targeting
an additional 50 million poor families by 2019, with
anallocatedbudgetofUS$300 million in 20162017
(Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas 2016). The
Indian government plans to meet this estimated growth
in LPG demand by appointing approximately 10 000
new LPG distributors (40% of the current base) in
20162017. Several analyses of the household energy
transition in India exist, but the emissions conse-
quences of this remain uncertain. Our analysis pro vides
an estimate of the net emissions impactsof the observed
transition from traditional biomass cooking to LPG
stoves over the decade 20012011 as a consequence of
both policies and socio-economic developments over
this period. While our analysis is unable to attribute
the net emissions impact to specific policies, it pro-
vides a first historical estimate at the national level of
emissions impacts of the household cooking energy
transition that accounts for actual conditions and fuel
Between 2001 and 2011, we observe a sharp increase
in LPG access in urban India (by 17%), compared to
rural India (by 5%). Two factors contributed to this:
(1) enhanced access and stable supply of LPG in urban
regions, and (2) rapid urbanization of India whereby
rural regions are being converted to urban and rural
populations are moving to urban areas (Kumar and Rai
2014). Both primary and secondary users of fuelwood
are accounted for in our analysis to include the emis-
sions impact of the continued use of fuelwood along
with LPG. Thus, our net emissions impact is likely to
be more conservative when compared to analyses that
account for only primary users of LPG. As access to
LPG improved, assuming all households were of aver-
age size, urban India displaced 6.19 million tons of
fuelwood in 2011, while in rural India only 0.99 mil-
lion tons were displaced. The variation between urban
and rural regions is due to the differences in the LPG
distribution networks, average incomes and price of
fuelwood across these regions. Urban households tend
to generally buy fuelwood (if available) and have access
to better LPG distribution and after sales networks.
Urban households, thus tend to make a more rapid
and complete transition to improved cooking tech-
nologies and are less likely to use wood as a secondary
fuel. Conversely, as fuelwood is easily accessible in rural
regions and the LPG distribution networks are not reli-
able, stacking of fuels is more common among rural
households. In addition to fuelwood, households also
use crop and animal residues like dung as cooking f uels,
especially in rural India, and the emissions from these
fuels also have significant health and climatic impacts.
However, a lack of reliable data on crop and animal
residue use in the NSS surveys limits our ability to
Environ. Res. Lett. 12 (2017) 115003
include it in our net emissions impact estimations.
Thus, we have only included emissions from fuelwood
and LPG use in our analysis. A key finding of this
work is that even when biomass harvesting is assumed
to be fully renewable (resulting in no CO2impact)
there is no net emissions from the switch to LPG when
considering Kyoto gases only (with some uncertainty
around zero, see SI). This is because of the significantly
higher efficiency of LPG stoves compared to traditional
fuelwood stoves and the fact that traditional stoves
emit methane while LPG stoves do not (coupled
with the higher GWP100 for methane than CO2).
Accounting for black carbon and other non-Kyoto
climate forcings results in a net reduction in emis-
sions from a switch to LPG even at fNRB = 0 (see
SI for the full range of uncertainties). Considering
a more realistic, but still conservative assumption
of 0.3 as the fNRB results, according to our esti-
mates, in a larger net decrease of Kyoto emissions
of 3.05 MtCO2e. Accounting for non-Kyoto climate-
active emissions increases our estimate of net emissions
reductions even further to 6.73 MtCO2e at the national
The estimates we provide on reduction in fuelwood
consumption (and thus on reductions in emissions)
are conservative for a number of reasons. First, the
fraction of biomass that is non-renewably harvested
is conservatively assumed to be 0.3. Some have esti-
mated a higher fraction at the national level for India
while others have estimated a slightly lower fraction
(Bailis et al 2015, Cashman et al 2016). However, all
estimates are highly uncertain and we consider a frac-
tion towards the lower end of the uncertainty range to
ensure avoiding over-estimation. Second, the estimates
of fuelwood displaced per kg of LPG consumed were
made using NSS data that included both primary and
secondary users of LPG. However, in scaling these to the
aggregate national level, Census data on the total num-
ber of households with access was used, which only
includes primary users of the fuel. We would expect
that primary users would have a higher consumption
of LPG than secondary users or a mix of primary and
secondary users (as is observed in the NSSO data).
Thus, the estimate at the national level is likely to be a
lower bound on what each primary user of LPG is con-
suming. Third, again due to the fact that the Census
only captures primary stove use, our estimate of house-
holds gaining access over the decade is likely a lower
bound as it only captures households switching from
no LPG to primary use of LPG and does not include
households gaining access to LPG but using it as a sec-
ondary fuel. Fourth, the GWP100 used for BC is a global
value of 455, whereas reported values in the literature
vary regionally and some estimates for India put the
GWP100 for BC at 1110 (Grieshop et al 2011, Freeman
and Zerriffi 2014). Finally, we acknowledge that our
estimates of net emissions from increased LPG access
and use do not account for upstream emissions from the
supply and manufacture of LPG. However, estimates
of the emissions in the production and transport stage
of LPG suggest that these are less than 10% of total
emissions from LPG (Cashman et al 2016). It should
also be noted that this analysis only capture changes at
the extensive margin. That is, we only account for the
reduction in fuelwood consumption and increase in
LPG consumption associated with households mov-
ing from no access to having LPG access. We do
not account for changes at the intensive margin (i.e.
increases in LPG consumption from 2001 to 2011 by
households that already had LPG in 2001). This is left
to future work.
Despite these limitations, our analysis can be used
to inform the design of public policies and investments
to support clean cooking transitions in developing
countries. The calculation of net emissions impact
and fuelwood displaced due to increased LPG access
and use can also be estimated using other methods.
However, this is a first attempt to do so for India
using the statistical matching techniques as far as we
know. Better data availability in the future could allow
the application of alternative methods and to other
national contexts as well. Availability of longitudinal
in fuel stacking and LPG use over time. Little work has
been done on determining the extent of public benefits
from reduced emissions even though there is increasing
interest in quantifying the environmental and welfare
benefits for public policy and to generate more fund-
ing to promote cleaner fuel/stove use. This work could
also inform future analysis of the net emissions impact
from increased household LPG access as a consequence
of the new set of policies being implemented by the
Indian government.
Even though the transition of households from
wood to LPG for cooking have significant impacts
on health and fuelwood quantity used, the net climate
impacts continue to remain uncertain, and have sig nifi-
cant implications for household emissions accounting.
The choices regarding the fNRB and climate-active
emissions accounted for are significant for the results
and household emissions accounting. These should
be considered carefully in any analysis and policy-
making. This also has an important impact on potential
revenue generation through utilization of carbon cred-
iting methodologies to fund future clean stove and
fuel interventions. The fNRB assumed is crucial in
determining the feasibility of a carbon credit based
interventions, as carbon credits are based on the
premise that improved stove efficiency and fuel sub-
stitution reduce the use of non-renewable biomass
and its associated emissions. However, no matter
what the assumption regarding fNRB, our results
emphasize the importance of including non-Kyoto
climate-active emissions in estimating the net cli-
mate impacts of transitioning from biomass to LPG
Environ. Res. Lett. 12 (2017) 115003
This article was developed under Assistance Agree-
ment No. 83542102 awarded by the US Environmental
Protection Agency to Dr. Hisham Zerriffi. It has not
been formally reviewed by EPA. The views expressed
in this document are solely those of Devyani Singh,
Dr. Shonali Pachauri, and Dr. Hisham Zerriffi and
do not necessarily reflect those of the Agency. EPA
does not endorse any products or commercial services
mentioned in this publication. This research was also
funded by the International Institute for Applied Sys-
tems Analysis (IIASA). Special thanks are given to Dr.
Valerie Lemay, Professor in the Faculty of Forestry at
the University of British Columbia, for her help with
statistical matching. We would also like to thank Kevin
Ummel, research scholar at IIASAs energy program,
for his help with data preparation and analysis of the
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... As of 2020, an estimated 97.4% of Indian households had LPG connections although adoption does not necessarily mean actual use of LPG, and data on actual usage are not available at the national level (Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, 2020). Less clear is whether and how this change in LPG access and use is accompanied by a reduction in solid fuel use (Singh et al., 2017;Malakar et al., 2018;Gould and Urpelainen, 2018). The IEA report indicated that about 660 million Indians still use solid fuel, primarily fuelwood, for cooking (IEA, 2021). ...
Suspension of solid fuel Correlated random effect model Double hurdle model Rural India A B S T R A C T Household solid fuel use has adverse impacts on health and the environment. The Indian government's Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) subsidy promoted the adoption of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) by millions of Indian households. There is little knowledge, however, regarding decision-making to reduce solid fuel use after adopting cleaner fuels. Leveraging panel data on household energy use in rural India we jointly estimated LPG adoption and consumption to study the reduction in solid fuel use. Our results indicate that exclusive LPG use increased from 4.5% to 17.8% between 2015 and 2018 while fuel stacking (use of multiple fuels) doubled from 18% to 39%. The household's wealth index, self-reported higher social strata, business ownership, head of household's educational level, and the proportion of LPG-using households in the village were positively associated with LPG consumption and suspension of solid fuels. Distance to LPG refill delivery, household size and PMUY subsidy were negatively associated with LPG share though LPG share was positively associated with the interaction of PMUY with wealth index. Policy efforts should target sustained LPG consumption by making refill delivery more accessible and implementing a pro-poor refill subsidy as well as general poverty alleviation (e.g., by creating income generation opportunities).
... The global annual benefit could be up to 5.6 million fewer premature deaths from ambient air pollution if, additionally, emissions from non-fossil fuel anthropogenic sources, particularly from agriculture and household sources of ambient air pollution were controlled. In countries such as India, replacement of solid fuels with LPG reduced pressures on forests and achieved modest climate benefits in addition to reduced household air pollution, even though LPG is a fossil fuel (Singh et al., 2017). Additional benefits would accrue by making affordable electricity from renewable sources widely available for domestic use. ...
Climate change, attributable to human activity, is increasingly contributing to a global health crisis. The scale, nature and timing of adverse effects on physical and mental health, via direct and indirect pathways, vary within and between regions but there are common challenges that can be tackled by better integrated mitigation and adaptation actions. The actions described in this paper would have benefits for health if appropriately implemented, both by reducing the health risks of climate change and from the ancillary (co‐)benefits of mitigation such as from reduced air pollution as a result of phasing out fossil fuels. There are unprecedented health threats from climate change but also unprecedented opportunities to use scientific knowledge to inform policy and practice. Much can be done now to use the evidence already available to effect rapid and decisive action as well as generating new evidence to support effective policy development and implementation. This paper draws on an inter‐regional, inclusive, project by the InterAcademy Partnership, the global network of more than 140 academies of science, engineering and medicine, to summarise evidence available worldwide in order to help inform options for policy making. A particular focus is on clarifying climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions and their implementation for the benefit of the most vulnerable groups. The present authors actively participated in managing this project which encouraged academies to capture diverse impacts and policy options by evaluating and synthesising evidence from their own countries to inform policy for collective and customised action at national, regional and global levels. Using a systems‐based approach, recommendations from the project in this publication are transdisciplinary and multisectoral. Despite the accumulating evidence, protecting and improving human health have not yet become major focal points in global climate change policy discussions. Drawing on the IAP project outputs, we strongly recommend that health and health equity must now come to the foreground, accompanied by much greater allocation of climate finance to health‐related programmes.
... In particular, providing universal electricity access has been shown to exert little impact on global CO 2 emissions (Calvin et al. 2016), while switching to universal clean cooking would even imply a reduction in emissions and energy demand due to strong efficiency gains (e.g. see Rosenthal et al. 2018;Singh et al. 2017). At the same time, providing energy access allows for a steeply increased adaptation capability by enabling air cooling and telecommunications, for example. ...
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Andrea Bonzanni provides an overview of the economics of transporting electricity and gas through networks, critically discussing the numerous similarities and the crucial differences between the two energy carriers. The chapter describes the physical and economic properties of energy networks, focusing on their monopolistic nature and the implications for electricity and gas systems. It goes onto review how energy networks are treated in competitive energy markets, how access to networks functions and what arrangements are established to ensure efficient economic outcomes and equal treatment of all market participants. Finally, it explains how access to energy networks is charged and how network users exchange energy within a network.
... In particular, providing universal electricity access has been shown to exert little impact on global CO 2 emissions (Calvin et al. 2016), while switching to universal clean cooking would even imply a reduction in emissions and energy demand due to strong efficiency gains (e.g. see Rosenthal et al. 2018;Singh et al. 2017). At the same time, providing energy access allows for a steeply increased adaptation capability by enabling air cooling and telecommunications, for example. ...
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Energy subsidies are widespread among OECD and non-OECD countries and exist for all energy types. Governments often give noble and legitimate rationales for the introduction and continuation of various energy subsidies, but the reality of energy subsidy policies is nearly always more complex than the stated rationale. Governments have tried to balance the energy trilemma by implementing several types of energy subsidies at once. This has resulted in a complex political economy of pervasive subsidies across energy production and consumption. Even when some policy priorities clearly change, the phasing out of existing subsidies may prove politically challenging when powerful vested interest groups exercise their influence over governmental decision-making. This chapter goes in depth on the types, size, objectives, and politics of subsidies to fossil fuel consumption and production and those to renewable electricity.
... The industrial sector is the difference, how much the industry contributes to the level of CO 2 emissions. The research of Singh et al. (2017) shows that the process of industrialization activities is identical to an activity that has an impact on increasing CO 2 emissions in the world (Labiba and Pradoto, 2018). This study is also in line with research by Aye and Prosper (2017) which states that industrial activities, especially the manufacturing industry, have a positive and significant influence on air pollution. ...
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Economic growth is the main goal of the global economy. However, increasing economic growth often results in increased CO2 emissions and encourages environmental degradation. This study analyzes the impact of industrialization, consumption of fossil energy, economic growth, and population activities on CO2 emissions in upland water catchment areas. Data analysis using panel data regression, in a span of 20 years. The results of the study show that economic factors, namely industrialization and consumption of fossil energy, are the main determinants of increasing CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, social aspects such as education, waste generation, and population have no effect on CO2 emissions.
After tentative efforts during the 1990s, the past two decades have seen a rapid increase in the number of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions mitigation policies, initially in a few frontrunner countries and more recently spreading globally. Over the same period, GHG emissions have continued to rise, but the rate of growth has recently slowed. Are mitigation policies having an effect? To explore this question, we review and synthesize the empirical literature on the impact of mitigation policies on three key outcomes: GHG emissions, proximate emission drivers like energy intensity and land use, and low-carbon technologies. Our key contribution to the available literature lies in establishing an empirically based track record of climate action, focusing on methodologically sound ex post studies. We find that mitigation policies have had a discernible impact on emissions and multiple emission drivers. Most notably, they have led to reductions in energy use, declines in deforestation rates, as well as cost-reductions and capacity expansions of low-carbon technologies in many instances. Furthermore, implemented policies to date are likely to have reduced global emissions by several billion tons of CO 2 eq per year compared to a world without mitigation policies. In the light of current ambitions on climate action falling short of what is required to limit global warming to the Paris temperature goals, we conclude that there is ample evidence of policy instruments with demonstrable impacts, but that efforts need to be hugely strengthened and expanded. Also, far more attention is required to policy monitoring, evaluation, and learning so as to strengthen the basis for future policy and the attribution of its impacts. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Volume 48 is October 2023. Please see for revised estimates.
The global problem of climate change and difficulties related to energy access, air pollution, and water pollution in India (and other developing countries) necessitate the need to look for alternative clean, local, and low-carbon energy sources for displacing fossil fuels. This paper analyses the existing waste-to-biomethane potential of the sericulture, fisheries, and agro-industrial sectors in India, which have mostly been neglected previously in India’s waste-to-energy assessments. In the process, the volume of wastewaters generated from India’s agro-industries are also estimated, data on which are scarce in the academic and grey literature. India’s annual biomethane potentials (for 2018–19) were found to be 88 million m 3 , 207 million m 3 , and 3514 million m 3 from the three sectors, respectively. To assess the energy generation potential of these wastes, a comprehensive literature review was conducted and data on residue-to-product ratios, results of proximate analyses, and specific biomethane yields were either compiled or calculated. The gross thermal energy and electricity generation potentials are 132 PJ and 22 TWh respectively; between 19 and 95 million people can benefit from such waste-to-energy production, depending on the end use of the biomethane for electricity generation or as a domestic cooking fuel. The corresponding mean removal of organic pollution from India’s surface waters can be between 5.5 and 9.3 million tonnes of chemical oxygen demand. For the end uses of biomethane in electricity generation and cooking, the cumulative GHG abatements attributable to these industries are 11.4 million tonnes and 6.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent respectively. Besides the numeric results reported, this paper also contains a comprehensive compilation of data on waste characteristics and biomethane productions. The present status of biogas generation and related policy implementation in India are reviewed and discussed. Overall, our findings indicate that biomethane from these wastes and wastewaters can generate substantial energy for India, is in line with recent government policies, and can aid India in achieving six Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal target 7.1, to provide universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy by 2030, must be achieved in the context of rapid reductions in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While replacing solid cooking fuels with liquid petroleum gas (LPG) opens questions about the compatibility of energy access and climate mitigation objectives, the environmental impact of 2.6 billion people continuing to rely on solid fuel for cooking and heating is significant. However, models used to map deep decarbonization pathways typically do not feature a granular pathway for universal clean cooking access, which limits the representation of these two interconnected transitions, mitigating climate change and achieving universal energy access. Here, we present a novel methodology for representing residential cooking pathways within the TIMES energy systems optimization model (ESOM) framework. The methodology is demonstrated using India as a proof-of-concept case study, where scenario analysis explores solutions that reach universal clean cooking access in the context of GHG emissions reductions. The model presented here is published and publicly available to access.
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Black carbon (BC) emission from biofuel cooking in South Asia and its radiative forcing is a significant source of uncertainty for health and climate impact studies. Quantification of BC emissions in the published literature is either based on laboratory or remote field observations far away from the source. For the first time under Project Surya , we use field measurements taken simultaneously inside rural households, ambient air and vehicular emissions from highways in a rural area in the Indo-Gangetic-Plains region of India to establish the role of both solid biomass based cooking in traditional stoves and diesel vehicles in contributing to high BC and organic carbon (OC), and solar absorption. The major finding of this study is that BC concentrations during cooking hours, both indoors and outdoors, have anomalously large twice-daily peak concentrations reaching 60 μg m<sup>−3</sup> (median 15-min average value) for indoor and 30 μg m<sup>−3</sup> (median 15-min average value) for outdoor during the early morning (05:00 to 08:00) and early evening (17:00 to 19:00) hours coinciding with the morning and evening cooking hours. The BC during the non-cooking hours were also large, in the range of 2 to 30 μg m<sup>−3</sup>. The peak indoor BC concentrations reached as high as 1000 μg m<sup>−3</sup>. The large diurnal peaks seen in this study lead to the conclusion that satellite based aerosol studies that rely on once- daily daytime measurements may severely underestimate the BC loading of the atmosphere. The concentration of OC was a factor of 5 larger than BC and furthermore optical data show that absorbing brown carbon was a major component of the OC. The imprint of the cooking hour peaks were seen in the outdoor BC both in the village as well as in the highway. The results have significant implications for climate and epidemiological studies.
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Household air pollution from traditional cook stoves presents a greater health hazard than any other environmental factor. Despite government efforts to support clean-burning cooking fuels, over 700 million people in South Asia could still rely on traditional stoves in 2030. This number could rise if climate change mitigation efforts increase energy costs. Here we quantify the costs of support policies to make clean cooking affordable to all South Asians under four increasingly stringent climate policy scenarios. Our most stringent mitigation scenario increases clean fuel costs 38% in 2030 relative to the baseline, keeping 21% more South Asians on traditional stoves or increasing the minimum support policy cost to achieve universal clean cooking by up to 44%. The extent of this increase depends on how policymakers allocate subsidies between clean fuels and stoves. These additional costs are within the range of financial transfers to South Asia estimated in efforts-sharing scenarios of international climate agreements.
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This article reports the greenhouse gas emissions of anthropogenic origin by sources and removals by sinks of India for 2007 prepared under the aegis of the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA) (note 1). The emission profile includes carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide. It also includes the estimates of hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride at the national level from various sectors, viz. energy, industrial process and product use, agriculture, land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), and waste. In 2007, emissions were of the order of 2008.67 Tg (note 2) of CO2 equivalents without emissions from the LULUCF sector. Whereas with LULUCF the emissions were about 1831.65 Tg CO2 equivalents. The energy sector accounted for 69% of the total emissions, the agriculture sector contributed 19% of the emissions, 9% of the emissions was from the industrial processes and product use, and only 3% of the emissions was attributable to the waste sector. The LULUCF sector on the whole was net sink category for CO2. The study tracks the improvements made in inventory estimates at the national level through the years, in terms of the expanding coverage of sources, reducing uncertainties and inclusion of new methodologies, including some elements of future areas of work.
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The study attempts to understand the Urbanization Process, Trend, Pattern and its Consequences based on census data during 1901-2011 in India. The regional variations in the distribution of urban population are significant. Results show that India urban population has increased from 2.58 crores in 1901 to 37.71 crores in 2011 due to rapid industrialization and rural to urban migration. Percent urban has increased from 11% in 1901 to 31% in 2011; Urbanization in India has been relatively slow compared to many developing countries. India is at acceleration stage of the process of urbanization According to 2011, Census of India; Goa is the highly urbanized state with an urban population of 62.1 percent. The numbers of million plus cities have increased from 9 in 1951 to 23 in 1991 and to 50 in 2011. Share of Metropolitan cities population has increased 18.9 percent in 1951 to 42.3 percent in 2011 Rapid urbanization raises many issues that might have both positive and negative impacts on the environment. The monitoring urbanization is a vital role of planner, management, governmental and non-governmental organizations for implementing policies to optimize the use of natural resources and accommodate development at the same time minimizing the impact on the environment.
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Over half of all wood harvested worldwide is used as fuel, supplying ~9% of global primary energy. By depleting stocks of woody biomass, unsustainable harvesting can contribute to forest degradation, deforestation and climate change. However, past efforts to quantify woodfuel sustainability failed to provide credible results. We present a spatially explicit assessment of pan-tropical woodfuel supply and demand, calculate the degree to which woodfuel demand exceeds regrowth, and estimate woodfuel-related greenhouse-gas emissions for the year 2009. We estimate 27–34% of woodfuel harvested was unsustainable, with large geographic variations. Our estimates are lower than estimates from carbon offset projects, which are probably overstating the climate benefits of improved stoves. Approximately 275 million people live in woodfuel depletion ‘hotspots’—concentrated in South Asia and East Africa—where most demand is unsustainable. Emissions from woodfuels are 1.0–1.2 Gt CO2e yr−1 (1.9–2.3% of global emissions). Successful deployment and utilization of 100 million improved stoves could reduce this by 11–17%. At US$11 per tCO2e, these reductions would be worth over US$1 billion yr−1 in avoided greenhouse-gas emissions if black carbon were integrated into carbon markets. By identifying potential areas of woodfuel-driven degradation or deforestation, we inform the ongoing discussion about REDD-based approaches to climate change mitigation.
Despite widespread global efforts to promote clean cookstoves to achieve improvements in air and forest quality, and to reduce global climate change, surprisingly little is known about the degree to which these actually reduce biomass fuel consumption in real-world settings. Using data from in-house weighing of fuel conducted in rural India, we examine the impact of cleaner cookstoves – most of which are LPG stoves – on three key outcomes related to solid fuel use. Our results suggest that using a clean cookstove is associated with daily reductions of about 4.5 kg of biomass fuel, 160 fewer minutes cooking on traditional stoves, and 105 fewer minutes collecting biomass fuels. These findings of substantial savings are robust to the use of estimators with varying levels of control for selection, and to alternative data obtained from household self-reports. Our results support the idea that efforts to promote clean stoves among poor rural households can reduce solid fuel use and cooking time, and that rebound effects towards greater amounts of cooking on multiple stoves are not sufficient to eliminate these gains. We also find, however, that households who have greater wealth, fewer members, are in less marginalized groups, and practice other health-averting behaviors, are more likely to use these cleaner stoves, which suggests that socio-economic status plays an important role in determining who benefits from such technologies. Future efforts to capture social benefits must therefore consider how to promote the use of alternative technologies by poor households, given that these households are least likely to own clean stoves.
Cookstove projects have long been considered "win-win" development projects based on the multitude of benefits they can create. Carbon credits provide a new financing mechanism to fund such cookstove projects, but have been criticized as not always successfully meeting sustainable development goals. By drawing on previous literature this article critically looks at trade-offs between the maximization of climate and health benefits of cookstove projects in the context of carbon credits. It finds that carbon credits inherently account for climate benefits, but not for health. Therefore, clear objectives of cookstove interventions need to be defined prior to project implementation to insure the maximization of benefits in projects' priority areas.
The opportunity to apply for carbon credits for cookstove projects creates a source of funding that can be leveraged to promote the 'win-win' environmental and development benefits of improved cookstoves. Yet, as in most environment-development efforts, unacknowledged tradeoffs exist under the all-encompassing 'win-win' claims. This study therefore compares different scenarios for calculating cookstove carbon credits, including comparing different types of stoves using different fuels, different methodologies and theoretical scenarios to account for a range of climate-relevant emissions. The results of the study highlight: 1) impacts of different assumptions made within carbon credit methodologies, 2) discussion around potential tradeoffs in such projects, and 3) considerations needed to truly promote sustainable development. The Gold Standard methodology was more comprehensive in its accounting and generally calculated more carbon credits per scenario than the Clean Development Mechanism methodology. Including black carbon in calculations would be more reflective of climate-relevant stove emissions and greatly increase the number of credits calculated. As health and other development benefits are not inherently included in carbon credit calculations, to achieve 'win-win' outcomes, deliberate decisions about project design need to be made to ensure objectives are met and not simply assumed.