Actress Julia Roberts Joins Alliance For Clean Cookstoves As Global Ambassador

Actress Julia Roberts will serve as a global ambassador for the Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and join Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s effort “to introduce 100 million clean cookstoves around the world by 2020, the State Department said Friday,” Agence France-Presse reports.

Roberts and Clinton “will help to bring attention to the global issue that kills nearly two million people annually: toxic smoke from unsafe and inefficient cookstoves,” according to a release from the State Department (5/7).

“Roberts first learned about the Alliance’s effort while interviewing Clinton for a special program … that was broadcast on the Oprah Winfrey Network on Saturday,” RTTNews reports.

“Nearly two million people around the world – mostly women and children – die each year from an activity that many of us take for granted: cooking for our families,” Roberts said. “I am proud to stand with Secretary Clinton to work to reduce the senseless and preventable deaths from unsafe cooking conditions in the developing world and I look forward to contributing to the important work of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves,” she added (5/9).

Also on Friday, Clinton and Roberts wrote an opinion piece arguing that “providing cleaner burning stoves to developing countries could save lives and help the climate,” Politico Pro reports (Guillen, 5/6).

In the piece, which was published in USA Today, Clinton and Roberts write that “for nearly half of the world’s population, cooking at home is a deeply dangerous act. In fact, it poses one of the most serious health risks in the developing world, and it’s a major threat to the environment.”

“Smoke from dirty stoves or open flames. … produce toxic fumes, and in poorly ventilated homes, the mix of chemicals can reach 200 times the level that the EPA considers safe to breathe. It can cause lung cancer, pneumonia, cataracts, low birth weight, even death. According to the World Health Organization, smoke from dirty stoves and fires kills almost 2 million people each year, most of them women and children. It kills more than twice as many people as malaria,” they write before calling for “more governments, non-profits and private companies” to join their effort (5/6).

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