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Push For Clean Stoves Opens Clinton Conference

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has announced a new program to introduce cleaner cook stoves around the world.

She made the announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative, her husband's annual philanthropic conference.

Clinton said the Alliance for Clean Cookstoves will set a goal of placing cleaner stoves in 100 million homes by 2020.

The program primarily targets women and girls, who do most of the cooking around the world. Clinton said as many as 3 billion people cooking meals every day are exposed to toxic chemicals and smoke using unsafe stoves.

That exposure leads to a range of respiratory illnesses like pneumonia and lung cancer. Clinton said such stoves also put greenhouse gases into the air, which leads to climate change.

Clinton said the U.S. government has contributed $50 million to help launch the program.

Kicking off the Clinton Global Initiative, Former President Bill Clinton warned of the growing devastation of the global economic downturn and said the dangers posed by natural disasters around the world had been increased by the effects of climate change.

The conference brings together leaders from government, business and philanthropy, who make financial commitments aimed at tackling poverty and disease around the world.

Clinton announced new financial commitments to help Haiti recover from the effects of a massive earthquake last January, and to Pakistan, where monsoon rains led to deadly flooding last summer. He also announced a new program to help Louisiana's gulf coast, which is still recovering from the massive oil spill and the effects of Hurricane Katrina five years ago.

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