Global Cooksafe Coalition

New ‘Global Cooksafe Coalition’ calls time on dangerous fuels in our kitchens

Media Release

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Leading chefs and multi-billion dollar property companies commit to electric cooking, including an ambitious gas exit pledge.

Tuesday 22 November will mark the launch of the Global Cooksafe Coalition (GCC) – an unprecedented new alliance of public health, climate, aid and development organisations, multi-billion dollar property companies and leading chefs, joining forces to call for universal access to safe, sustainable cooking. GCC founding members and corporate partners support the phase-out of dangerous fuels from our kitchens, and urgent action to ensure low income communities around the world benefit from the renewable energy revolution.

As part of the launch, Lendlease, a global investment, development and construction company, real estate investment trust, and The GPT Group (GPT), will commit to an end to gas in kitchens of new developments in OECD countries by 2030 and all-electric retrofits of existing properties by 2040.

Lendlease has a global portfolio of USD$28.9bn (AU$44.4bn) in funds and USD$19.5bn (AU$30bn) in assets under management, with the GPT Group managing a US$17.5bn (AU$26.9bn) portfolio of Australian office, logistics and retail assets. The companies have committed to one of the most ambitious targets in place globally, with leading policies like the European Union’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive working towards building decarbonisation by 2050.

“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 at our new commercial development Victoria Cross Tower in Sydney and we’re looking forward to working alongside our Coalition partners to drive and accelerate industry change.”

The accelerating shift to electric cooking is being driven by a number of factors, ranging from health and climate impacts, to cost.  “Electricity access has expanded rapidly over the last 5 years in many emerging markets, yet electricity is still rarely used for cooking. Electricity has the power to transform safe cooking for communities in low- to middle-income countries where 3.2 million people per year are dying from illnesses related to indoor air pollution from cooking with solid fuels and kerosene,” said Nyamolo Abagi, Senior Manager at CLASP East Africa.

“There’s nothing you can’t do on induction that you can do on gas”

The Coalition will launch in Australia with a sizzling all-electric cooking demonstration by celebrated chefs and restaurant owners Darren Robertson and Palisa Anderson in Sydney restaurant, Automata and the release of a new report, The Future of Cooking is Electric.

Globally, the GCC enjoys the support of some of the world’s leading chefs, from Gordon Ramsay’s Development Chef and former El Bulli Chef, Rob Roy Cameron, to trailblazing chef William Gleave from Bright Restaurant in London, Chat Thai’s Palisa Anderson and James Edward Henry of Le Doyenné in France.

“If you were to take a tour around some of the most forward thinking chefs’ kitchens in the world right now you’d be hard pressed to find a gas stove. People are moving toward induction for its precision, its ease of cleaning, and potential to limit fossil fuel consumption. There’s nothing you can’t do on induction that you can do on gas,” said James Edward Henry, from Le Doyenné near Paris.

Palisa Anderson
Palisa Anderson leads induction cooking demonstration

The health risks of cooking with gas

Gas, including LPG, remains the most common cooking fuel globally, according to the World Health Organisation. While the contribution of burning fossil fuels to the climate crisis is well understood, experts are focused on increasing awareness of the health impacts of using gas in our kitchens.

Research shows that children living in a home with gas stoves have a 42% increased risk of having current asthma, and a 24% greater chance of being diagnosed with asthma at some point in life.

Gas stoves leak methane and other air pollutants even when they’re not being used. 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.

“Gas stoves release toxic pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide, directly into our kitchens and homes. With decades of research documenting the risk that these substances pose to our health, governments have a responsibility to support the transition to clean, safe electric cooking,” said Director General of the European Public Health Alliance, Dr Milka Sokolović.

The safe cooking revolution will be global

While electric cooking appliances provide the most sophisticated, healthy, climate-safe options in OECD countries, until recently, they were considered too expensive as solutions to energy poverty in low and middle income countries. But the renewable energy revolution is driving prices down, and with this comes an opportunity to revolutionise safe cooking.

“Only five years ago, the disconnect between gains in electricity generation in low and middle income countries, and the painful lack of progress on clean cooking was stark,” said Dr Simon Batchelor, Head of Research and Innovation at the UK Aid funded Modern Energy Cooking Services programme. “But as renewable energy technologies continue to reduce in cost and energy efficient electric appliances use so much less energy, the Global Cooksafe Coalition’s goals provide a pathway to a clean future that addresses health, environmental and economic concerns of the poorer segments of our world.”

Solar power is providing the cheapest energy in history, according to the International Energy Agency. As gas prices spike, this has the potential to address fuel poverty and take the pressure off household energy bills in OECD countries. Analysis by the Rocky Mountain Institute shows all-electric single-family homes in all regions of the US have lower energy bills than comparable homes using electricity and gas, and this 2020 analysis was done prior to dramatic increases in gas prices.

About the Global Cooksafe Coalition

Coalition members support universal access to safe and sustainable cooking in new kitchens by at least 2030 and existing kitchens by 2040 in the OECD and by 2035 and 2045 worldwide.

Founder members of the Global Cooksafe Coalition include the European Public Health Alliance, Asthma Australia, the Climate Council, the International WELL Building Institute, the World Green Building Council, the Australian Green Building Council, clean energy advocates, CLASP, and Modern Energy Cooking Services, which partners with UK Aid to advance the affordability of electric cooking in low- and middle-income countries.

Founding corporate partners include the GPT Group and global investment and development and construction group, Lendlease.

These leading experts are backed by dozens of top chefs, including London’s William Gleave from Bright Restaurant, James Edward Henry of Le Doyenné near Paris, Gordon Ramsay’s Development Chef Rob Roy Cameron, Chat Thai’s Palisa Anderson, Author and chef, Cynthia Shanmugalingam and Australian chef, author and television presenter, Neil Perry.

Partner and member quotes

“Electric is definitely the future of cooking in the home and in commercial kitchens. It’s just cleaner, it’s more efficient and it’s definitely more beneficial for the environment. Everything tends to be neater and cleaner without gas,” said Australian chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter, Neil Perry. 

“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.”

“As recognised leaders in sustainability, GPT is committed to being a positive contributor to the environment while improving our resilience to environmental changes,” said GPT’s Head of Sustainability and Energy, Steve Ford. “Our actions to reduce energy consumption and emissions in our portfolio are driven by GPT’s Energy Master Plan and commitment to operate a carbon neutral portfolio of assets within our ownership control by 2024. The electrification of kitchens in our assets reduces the use of fossil fuels by our tenants, and subsequently their customers, which plays a role in bringing us all closer to a 100 per cent renewable energy future.”

“World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) is proud to support the Global Cooksafe Coalition (GCC). The GCC aligns with our global network’s aspiration for an electrified, efficient, and renewably powered energy transition – particularly with its focus on communities in the global south, whose health is being severely compromised by emissions from cooking and heating. The ambitions of GCC demonstrate the co-benefits a sustainable built environment can provide, by improving the health and wellbeing of people, as well as tackling a clear pollutant from the building and construction sector,” said Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council.

“Improving indoor air quality in our homes and workplaces has received outsized attention of late as a way to tackle the pathogens that cause respiratory infections,” said Rachel Hodgdon, president and CEO of the International WELL Building Institute. “But indoor air quality can also be compromised by pollutants, like those released by gas stoves and ovens, and that can lead to increased asthma and other respiratory issues, especially in children. The evidence strongly supports the wholesale transition to electric cooking appliances championed by the Coalition, and IWBI applauds this endeavor as one more way we can support people-first places that improve the health and well-being of everyone, everywhere.”