Our United Nations Role

high res alan at the UN.jpgSince 1996, SCI has held special consultative status with the United Nations, with accredited representatives in Geneva, New York, and Vienna who focus on advocacy. Solar cooking fulfills all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals including eradicating poverty and hunger; promoting gender equality; achieving universal primary education; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; combating diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and developing global partnerships.

Dr. Alan Bigelow (pictured) presents on solar cooking at the United Nations New York. August 2015

The United Nations' Post-2015 development agenda has generated a lot of discussion about sustainable development. Because solar cooking improves human health, soil quality, family economies, and reduces deforestation, this is a critical technology that can assist all people, particularly those in greatest need.

Our representatives regularly participate in UN events, contribute to working groups, and have hosted parallel events with other UN entities to educate about and advocate for solar cooking’s benefits for people and the environment.


Our Grassroots Engagement

Directors and individuals around the world send information on their local solar cooker projects, plans and events, which we report on the Solar Cookers International network wiki and in Solar Cookers International's Digest. These two unique resources report on the progress of worldwide solar cooking projects, research, and advocacy.  Staff and volunteers in our Solar Cookers International office provide technology support and network introductions to initiate solar cooking in communities around the world. Project organizers stay in regular contact with Solar Cookers International, providing current insights and solutions for us to share with others who want to bring this technology to people who need it most.

SCI science director addresses crowd in the largest conference hall at UN 

Alan Bigelow, PhD, SCI's science director and main United Nations representative, spoke in the ECOSOC chamber on August 25, 2017 at the United Nations in New York, at a High-Level Global Meeting. More than 550 people listened to the Road to the Future of Sustainable Development: Moving from Commitments to Results.SCI Science Director Alan Bigelow addresses the UN ECOSOC.

His presentation on solar cooking was broadcast to an estimated 20 million people in over 100 cities in the world. SCI emphasizes that solar cooking reduces the amount of time spent in unpaid care work (gathering wood, and stirring while the food cooks). Women caught in the cycle of energy poverty spend a lot of their time performing unpaid care work, including cooking, gathering or earning money to buy fuel for cooking and water pasteurization.



Since 1987, tens of thousands of individuals and organizations have learned about solar cooking through Solar Cooker International's (SCI) information exchange networks, publications, research, and technical support. We focus our advocacy on expanding the use of these powerful solar cooking tools, and perfecting their technology, their adaptations to different cultures, and their distribution to meet the increasing need for this simple, zero-emissions technology.

Solar Cookers International's Statement to the United Nations

The United Nations accepted Solar Cookers International’s written statement to the Commission on the Status of Women 60. We urge the World Bank to replace fossil fuels and electricity with solar energy as true modern fuel.

Official Solar Cookers International Documents for Advocacy

Join our United Nations representatives in promoting solar energy for cooking. Use these resources in your advocacy work:

Commission on the Status of Women 

CSW 60 Written Statement

CSW 59 Written Statement

Essential Information

How Solar Cooking Aligns With All 17 Sustainable Development Goals (Summary And Full Paper)

Solar Cookers International General Statement 

SCI CSW 60 Oral Statement

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ISO/TAG 285: the world sets standards for clean cookstoves. Solar cookers are the cleanest. Photo: P. Funk, Nairobi, 2014

Solar Cookers International donors furthered a global effort to include solar cookers in a worldwide process to design cookstove standards. In February, 2014, Solar Cookers International and Solar Household Energy collaborated to send Dr. Paul Funk, former SCI board member, as the Solar Cookers International Network delegate to the International Organization for Standardization Technical Advisory Group (ISO/TAG) 285 Clean Cookstoves and Clean Cooking Solutions Plenary in Nairobi, Kenya. Because solar cookers have no emissions, they can be difficult to classify and are sometimes excluded from clean cookstove projects. Dr. Funk’s participation will help solar cookers be considered appropriately for future clean cooking standards.