In the News


SCI Champions Solar Cooking at World Climate Conference COP23

Sacramento, CA (November 1, 2017) -- Experts from Solar Cookers International (SCI) will urge Governments, NGOs, investors, and scientists to recognize solar cooking as a potential game-changer in global efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. SCI will champion solar cooking solutions at the upcoming Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change (COP23, Bonn, 6-17 November 2017).

“We are highlighting the many benefits of solar cooking including cost-free power, reduced household pollution, increased opportunities for education and economic activities, and safe drinking water, with enormous growth potential, especially in sun-rich and fuel-starved regions,” said Julie Greene, SCI’s Executive Director.

Members of the SCI team will participate in three side events and host a press conference during the most important international convening on climate since the Paris Agreement in 2015.

In particular, SCI will urge Governments to explicitly recognize solar cooking in their NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) and VNRs (Voluntary National Reviews) as part of their climate policymaking, monitoring, and reporting activities.

“For those who forage for fuel, prepare meals, and pasteurize drinking water over open fires, cooking is a dangerous and time-consuming process. Burning wood, animal waste, and charcoal undermines health, quality of life, educational systems, economies, and the environment,” Ms. Greene said.

“By contrast, solar cooking improves health, saves environments, creates opportunities for work and education,” Greene emphasized.

SCI estimates that there are over 3.1 million solar cookers currently in use globally representing a savings of more than 26 tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of over 604 million trees.

Recent advances in solar thermal cooking technologies have made it more efficient and cost-effective. SCI offers open-source specifications for constructing solar cookers, marketing, research, program design, and the world’s most comprehensive database of solar cooking devices on its website.

There is also great potential for scaling up solar cookers, according to SCI, for economic activities and food production in schools, hospitals, refugee camps and other settings.

SCI offers training and opportunities for practitioners and advocates to exchange innovative ideas and best practices at conferences both in the U.S. and internationally.

In addition, SCI has developed a Performance Evaluation Process (PEP) to assess the quality and effectiveness of solar cookers currently available on the market.

The SCI team will include:
Julie Greene – SCI’s executive director who is a global leader in the areas of solar cooking advocacy, education, research, and networking.
Mike Paparian – @ClimateDispatch - SCI board member and an environmental finance and policy specialist who has held key positions in and out of California state government.
Alan Bigelow, Ph.D. – SCI’s science director and a leading expert on solar cooking from design, to testing, to production, to training and scaling up.
Caitlin Hughes – SCI program director gathers and analyzes data and identifies best practices from SCI’s field projects as well as the global solar cooking community.

SCI events at COP23:
• SCI & ENERGIES 2050 event Tuesday, November 7th (11:00 – 12:00) – venue: ENERGIES 2050 Pavilion (C.06)
• The “Better Together” side event Monday, November 13th (15:00 – 16:30) – venue: South Africa Pavilion (D.01)
• Press Conference Tuesday, November 14th (17:00 – 17:30) – venue: Press Conference Room #2, Bula Zone
• Climate Matters panel on Wednesday, November 15th (15:00 – 15:30) - venue: Press Conference Room #2, Bula Zone

SCI will also host an information booth at the exhibition space located in the Bonn Zone, 4 – 17 November.

For more information, or to schedule an interview with one of our experts, contact:
Levi McGarry – levi.mcgarry(at) tel: +1 (916) 455-4499
Julie Greene – julie(at)



For the Hindi version of the Press Release regarding the 6th SCI World Conference 2017, click here. 


Sacramento-Based/Worldwide Group to Host

International Solar Cooking Event

in India 16 - 18 January 2017

Solar Cookers International, a global nonprofit promoting solar cooking for 30 years, is hosting a diverse cross-section of leaders, farmers, trainers, and others at the sixth Solar Cookers International World Conference in the state of Gujarat, India, from Jan. 16-18, 2017.

Attendees will discuss some of the most pressing issues on the planet. For example, women who cook family meals over open fires suffer deadly consequences. “She and her children breathe thick smoke for hours every day – the equivalent of smoking 400 cigarettes per hour,” said Julie Greene, executive director of Solar Cookers International (SCI), which is headquartered in Sacramento. “When you multiply her activity by billions of meals every day, you realize the life-changing difference solar cooking makes.”

The conference will provide opportunities for SCI’s 500+ global partners, working in 133 countries, to share  innovations and expertise on many aspects of solar thermal cooking technologies. More information is available online at

Attendees will include rural women from Tanzania; village women from Nepal; people from a temple in India; a restaurant in southern France; a fresh-cheese dairy operated by indigenous families in Chiapas; fish farmers from Bangladesh; and a Japanese organization working in an Ethiopian refugee camp.

“They’ll share their expertise in cooking with free, renewable energy,” said Greene.

The world's most influential solar cooking experts – scientists, entrepreneurs, policy makers, educators and field project managers from more than 25 countries – will share their transformative work in a “living green” technologies venue, the Muni Seva Ashram. “More than 40 presenters from 19 countries will present their innovative discoveries in solar cooking work,” Greene said.

As recently as 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that close to 3 billion people lacked access to clean or modern energy for cooking. In some remote areas, gathering firewood requires thousands of women to have to hike 10 miles or more and carry back firewood. ”Sometimes, on their way to or from the trees, they’re attacked, beaten, raped,” Greene said.

Solar cooking empowers women, protects the environment, and improves human health and potential, she added, while impacting community economies as solar cooking devices are made with local materials by entrepreneurs in developing areas.

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EDITORS: For more information, please contact info(at)



Sacramento-Based International Group Ranked in Top Three

In November InterAction announced that Solar Cookers International placed in the top three for the Data Quality Award given by InterAction, an alliance of more than 180 nongovernmental organizations around the world , with offices in Washington, D.C.

InterAction’s members include American Red Cross International Services, Oxfam, World Vision, and Habitat for Humanity International.

SCI’s contributions were honored for their comprehensive, timely, accurate and complete data recording.

SCI specializes in convening global conversations to promote solar cooking as a solution to environmental destruction and other serious problems related to open-fire cooking.

SCI’s research and evaluation specialist recently made public that data collection reveals that more than 10 million people have been impacted by solar cooking since 1990 (SCI was founded in 1987).

Working with professionals and university partners, SCI is working to create consumer standards that will help people anywhere in the world to determine which type of solar cooker would work best for their climate, needs and priorities. SCI also engages in United Nations advocacy work with a team that focuses on women’s empowerment, zero-emission cooking, and educational efforts demonstrating how solar cooking meets all of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information, visit


Edible Manhattan - Solar Cooking: The No-Fuel, No-Emissions Way to Make Dinner

By Rachel Nuwer

Arline “AJ” Lederman didn’t intentionally set out to study what open-fire cooking means for the world’s woods and women.

For years, the art historian split her time between her Hoboken home and rural Afghanistan, studying traditional embroidery that women there specialize in. But during the village visits, she saw that women spend most of their time on something else: searching for anything to burn — sticks, leaves, animal dung — and that as a result much of the country’s former forests had been stripped bare. The problems didn’t end there: back home, they and their families coughed over open fires in smoke-filled rooms.

“I saw how hard their lives were because of the need for fuel,” Lederman says. “It was wrenching to see that women who had such skill and talent, who could create such a high level of beauty, were trapped.” Trapped, that is, in the constant search for flammable fuel.

Read more here


Construction Review Online - Profile: Solar Cookers International


Solar Cookers International’s mission is to spread solar thermal cooking technology to benefit people and environments.

Solar Cookers International works to solve the problem of inadequate household energy facing nearly 3 billion people on our planet.  Since human health, quality of life, and environments are affected by cooking fuel choices, we offer a solution to the difficult choices nearly half of all families make every day: whether to buy fuel, or to buy food and other family needs.  The sun’s free energy is a viable solution for all who live where the sun shines.

Read more here



The New York Times - Afghanistan’s Last Locavores

By Patricia McArdle, Solar Cooking Advocate and former SCI board member

"Many urban Americans idealize “green living” and “slow food.” But few realize that one of the most promising models for sustainable living is not to be found on organic farms in the United States, but in Afghanistan. A majority of its 30 million citizens still grow and process most of the food they consume. They are the ultimate locavores.

During the 12 months I spent as a State Department political adviser in northern Afghanistan, I was dismayed to see that instead of building on Afghanistan’s traditional, labor-intensive agricultural and construction practices, the United States is using many of its aid dollars to transform this fragile agrarian society into a consumer-oriented, mechanized, fossil-fuel-based economy.

In 2004, the Department of Energy carried out a study of Afghanistan. It revealed abundant renewable energy resources that could be used to build small-scale wind- and solar-powered systems to generate electricity and solar thermal devices for cooking and heating water."

Read more here


Press Releases


World Pneumonia Day highlights importance of cooking with solar energy 

November 12th is World Pneumonia Day, which urges us to acknowledge unnecessary child deaths due to a preventable illness.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in its 2014 report, emissions inhaled from indoor air pollution is the cause of more than 50% of deaths among children less than five years old. (2014)

Eliminating indoor air pollution, especially smoke from traditional wood cooking fires and kerosene lamps, reduces the risk of children dying from pneumonia.

“You have lit a wood fire in the middle of your small kitchen. Now, close the windows. Bend over the fire, feel the heat of the flames, and breathe in the smoke. Now, stay in that position and stir the food in your pot for one hour. That's what women and children who cook over wood fires endure every day,” said Julie Greene, executive director of Solar Cookers International.  “The more women who have the knowledge and tools for cooking with no-emission solar energy, the more children will breathe cleaner air and escape a miserable death from respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia.”

Solar energy is a stunningly simple solution to indoor air pollution. Since 1990, more than 2.7 million solar cookers have been distributed worldwide, giving women and their children healthier alternatives to cooking with wood and charcoal.

Solar Cookers International is the world’s leading source of solar cooking information in the world, and connects solar cooking experts and projects in 124 countries.

“Pneumonia is a horrible disease that kills children. What could each of these children have grown up to accomplish? World Pneumonia Day is a wake-up day, a reminder that we have it in our power to prevent these deaths,” said Greene.

To learn more, visit




Solar Thermal Cooking Mitigates Climate Change

Pope Francis has convened a landmark summit, “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development”, hosted at the Vatican on April 28.

Human beings are using natural resources at a faster rate than at any time in human history. Food, fresh water, minerals, and energy are consumed at an unsustainable pace. But the amount of solar energy that reaches the Earth in only one hour could power all human activity for one year.

“Our ability to capture solar energy effectively today will determine the quality of human life twenty years from now,” said Julie Greene, Executive Director of Solar Cookers International, a nonprofit organization working with 350 solar cooker designers and project managers worldwide. “People who learn how to make and use solar thermal devices for cooking and making safe drinking water--the most common of all human needs—are liberated from costly dependence on scarce or expensive fuels like wood, charcoal, and fossil fuel products. In the aftermath of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal on April 25, we clearly see that cooking with solar energy would be an immediate solution to provide hot food and clean drinking water to survivors,” Greene continued.

Emissions from 3 billion daily cooking fires contribute to air pollution and climate change.

“Solar thermal energy can be a game-changer for the nearly 3 billion people who cook food and make their drinking water safe by building fires under cooking pots,” said Greene. “The 2.2 billion people who live on less than $2 a day are also likely to live in stressed environments. Forests can’t regenerate at a sufficient pace to keep up with demand for wood fuel; fossil fuels have high financial and environmental costs.”

Free solar energy is an important equalizer that offers energy access to people in all socioeconomic levels, in both hemispheres, on all continents. Solar has higher energy efficiency than fossil or biomass fuels making it a true modern energy solution for our overburdened planet. To learn about the global solar cooking movement, contact info(at)

ABOUT SOLAR COOKERS INTERNATIONAL (SCI): a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization leading and convening the global solar cooking sector since 1987. Implementing the 1995 world’s largest refugee camp solar cooking project, SCI today maintains the world’s most comprehensive, free online resource of solar cooking, For more information, email info(at)