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Household transitions to clean energy in a multiprovincial cohort study in China

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Ellison Carter, Li Yan, Yu Fu, Brian Robinson, Frank Kelly, Paul Elliott, Yangfeng Wu, Liancheng Zhao, Majid Ezzati, Xudong Yang, Queenie Chan, Jill Baumgartner

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalNature Sustainability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

King's Authors


Household solid-fuel (biomass, coal) burning contributes to climate change and is a leading health risk factor. How and why households stop using solid-fuel stoves after adopting clean fuels has not been studied. We assessed trends in the uptake, use and suspension of household stoves and fuels in a multiprovincial cohort study of 753 Chinese adults and evaluated determinants of clean-fuel uptake and solid-fuel suspension. Over one-third (35%) and one-fifth (17%) of participants suspended use of solid fuel for cooking and heating, respectively, during the past 20 years. Determinants of solid-fuel suspension (younger age, widowed) and of earlier suspension (younger age, higher education and poor self-reported health status) differed from the determinants of clean-fuel uptake (younger age, higher income, smaller households and retired) and of earlier adoption (higher income). Clean-fuel adoption and solid-fuel suspension warrant joint consideration as indicators of household energy transition. Household energy research and planning efforts that more closely examine solid-fuel suspension may accelerate household energy transitions that benefit climate and human health.

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