Improved cookstoves are widely promoted as a health and climate improving technology, yet there remains a wide gap between their reputed benefits and the inconclusive outcomes of most interventions.
An increasing number of scientists suggest that the popular lab protocols used to test, rate and model the benefits of improved cookstoves are at least partly to blame. Insights from a recent study of improved cookstove users in Darfur, Sudan, reveal the extent to which the logic and goals of lab-based testing protocols differ from actual cooking practices.
We elaborate on the climate and energy policy implications of decontextualized lab tests and conclude with a call to design, test and select for dissemination only those improved cookstoves that are rated on the basis of their intended contexts of use.

, , , ,,
Energy Research and Social Science
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Abdelnour, S., & Pemberton-Pigott, C. (2018). For cook and climate: Certify cookstoves in their contexts of use. Energy Research and Social Science, 44, 196–198. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2018.05.014