The Keeling Curve Prize seeks out and finds the best solutions for the climate across the world. Projects that have a proven track record of preventing the release of, or removing, greenhouse gases from the atmosphere are awarded $25,000, given to several initiatives each year. A solar cooking project is one of the 10 projects that has bagged the funds.
There were 10 winners for the 2021 Keeling Curve Prize. The winners have contributed in different ways to combat climate change with their innovations. Each project has found new ways to remove greenhouse gases from or prevent their release into the atmosphere.
There were two winners from 5 categories that included transport, energy, finance, and others. The winners of 2021 included teams that showed innovation in the storage of energy, an inexpensive device to convert to e-bikes, seaweed farming innovations, and various other solutions to tackle climate change.
Solar Cooker Wins The Keeling Curve Prize In The Social And Pathways Category
Solar Cookers International from California won in the Social and Pathways Category. It won for improving both the health of the environment and humans by advocating the use of solar cooking around the world, especially in the developing parts of the world.
Solar cooking uses a free and clean source of energy that could be a key to many challenges. It could help prevent deforestation, indoor pollution from cooking in smoky fires. Indoor pollution is responsible for the death of 4 million people worldwide every year, mainly women and kids.
Even today, 3 billion people depend on fires fuelled by polluting fuels such as biomass, kerosene, and coal, according to figures released by WHO.
There is the additional social burden of children and women trekking miles to collect firewood and animal manure to fire these stoves. Such activities take up a big part of each day, and it affects the education of children.
Caitlyn Hughes, the Executive Director of SCI thanked the Keeling Curve Prize judges for the focus on the use of solar energy for cooking as a solution to climate change. She said it was a worthwhile and positive solution to many of the environmental and health challenges faced by billions across the world.
An Honorable Moment For India
The Board President of SCI, Dr. Shishpal Rawat said that the Keeling Curve Prize was a much-needed recognition that will help them highlight the importance of solar cooking as an important technology to combat greenhouse gases.
SCI said that over 4M cookers are having a direct and direct impact on more than 14M people around the world. This has helped prevent the release of 5.8M tons of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere every year, which is equal to pulling 1.25M cars from the roads.
The total number of solar cookers in use is expected to save around 30M tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere over their lifetime. That should be equal to driving 76B miles, or burning around 34B pounds (15.42B kilograms) of coal.
The Social and Cultural category winner was an innovative education program. Educated Choices Program is devoted to educating children across the US on the impact that their choice of foods has on the environment.
This awareness leads them to go for initiatives that are beneficial to the environment, human health, and birds and animals.
Solar E-Cycles from Kenya won the Keeling Curve Prize in the category of transportation, while Oceans 2050 won in the category of carbon capture. The winner showed innovation in tapping the curative benefits of seaweed to the environment. The Seaweed Farming Project calculates the carbon that seaweed farming sequesters in the oceans.
The Keeling Curve Prize was named in honor of Dr. Charles David Keeling, who created the graph which has been tracking the presence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since 1958. It is a Global Warming Mitigation Project initiative. The non-profit also runs Sphere, which is a networking portal devoted to climate projects, its funders, and other individuals.