Carbon offsetting in Chad: Solar Cooking for Refugee Families

Published by Georgia Crump on


Since the war in Darfur, hundreds of thousands of civilians, many of them women and children, have crossed into Chad, fleeing the ongoing violence. A large proportion live in refugee camps in Eastern Chad, close to the Sudanese border. 

In order to collect firewood for cooking, women and children have to venture out of the camp, daily taking the risk of being attacked or raped in order to provide for their families. What’s more, the smoke produced from cooking on an open fire is damaging to the health of those that are in close proximity, and the firewood burnt contributes to carbon emissions. 

About the project

This project uses the initiative of solar cooking to improve the lives of tens of thousands of refugees. The project developer, FairClimateFund, is providing the necessary material, knowledge and training to manufacture their own solar cookers. With these, the need to leave the camp to gather firewood is eliminated, as meals are cooked using the sun’s energy.

A solar cooker is a simple yet effective means of cooking, made of carton and aluminium foil that can be used to heat water and food. This solution is optimised for the natural climate, as this region is sunny on average 330 days of the year, meaning the solar cookers nearly eliminate the need for firewood entirely.

Since this programme was started in 2005, over 40,000 families in refugee camps and surrounding villages have been equipped with solar cookers. This has removed the danger of physical harm for women, and greatly improves their health conditions because this kind of cooking is smokeless. No longer needing to gather firewood, women consequently have more time to pursue other jobs and learn skills, and children are able to attend school. 

Additionally, by having a crucial role to play in the project, women are empowered and educated so they can go on to teach others. 

This project is certified and monitored at the highest level by Gold Standard. Read more about Gold Standard’s certification process. 

Cost (USD / tonne of CO2e): $15 (read more about how this is calculated)

Why your contribution is so vital

A solar cooker typically lasts around two years, so income from the carbon credits sold (purchased with donations like that of Treepoints) is used to ensure that there is infrastructure in place and materials available to build and distribute new cookers. In this way, the ongoing success of the project is guaranteed. 

The impacts and benefits of this project: 

For refugees:

  • 50,000+ smoke-free solar cookers distributed across 6 refugee camps to date
  • Health hazards due to smoke and potential fires eliminated
  • Safety improved for more than 50,000 women and girls who don’t have to risk their lives searching for firewood

For the environment:

  • Producing clean energy: 20,000 tonnes of CO2 saved annually from the atmosphere
  • Slowing down deforestation: more than 50% of local vegetation saved

For a sustainable future:

  • Empowering women – hundreds of jobs for women in the camp as well as opportunities for training and education
  • Children are able to attend school improving child education levels
  • Promoting responsible consumption: families are educated on the maintenance of their cooking system
  • Peace in the region – conflict between refugees and locals over scarce firewood is avoided

Sustainable Development Goals

One of the requirements of Gold Standard certification is that the projects meet at least 3 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, of which one is climate action. This means that as well as fighting climate change by offsetting carbon emissions, the projects your money is supporting contribute to sustainable development for ecosystems and communities around the world. 

The goals met by this project are: 

3. Good health and well-being – Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development. 

5. Gender equality – Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

13. Climate Action

15. Life on land – Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss. 

16. Peace, justice and strong institutions – Access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels. 

Read more about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Your impact

You can see a record of our donation to this project on our public ledger. You can also view global contributions to this project on Gold Standard’s impact registry

Thanks to the contributions of our members, we are reducing carbon emissions for a more sustainable future.


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