Harmful smoke from inefficient cookstoves causes over 4 million deaths each year, not to mention the impact it has on the environment. Improving health, reducing fuel consumption and providing economic opportunities are just some of the drivers behind the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves' mission to have clean cookstoves in 100 million households by 2020.

Technical standards and guidelines for cookstoves are an essential tool to support that mission. Experts within ISO's technical committee ISO/TC 285 Clean cookstoves and clean cooking solutions have begun work on developing three new standards and one technical report that will provide guidance and specifications for a number of areas such as laboratory and field testing methods, performance indicators and social impact assessments.

ISO/TC 285 secretary Sally Seitz from ISO's USA member ANSI said it is an ambitious programme of work but an important one.

"We are also committed to working with ISO member bodies in affected regions to increase stakeholder participation in the development of these standards, and to assist them in developing national networks and programmes to support their implementation", she said.

The first set of standards are expected in 2016, with working drafts completed later this year.

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