WEBINAR: Let’s Talk About Gas Stoves and Staying Safe in the Fossil Fuel Era

Published on February 16, 2023

Stand.earth's SAFE Cities campaign hosted a webinar to discuss an equitable, accessible roadmap for reforming our cities and homes via local action

Cozy Homes Webinar on Gas Stoves by SAFE Cities

The first couple of months of this year were certainly an interesting time for anyone following the debate around electrifying our buildings and “natural” gas, as research was published showing that the health risks of gas stoves are as bad as secondhand smoke — causing 1 in 8 cases of childhood asthma.

Subsequent news that the fossil fuel industry knew about the dangers of burning gas in buildings for decades was as concerning as it was unsurprising, and it raised a number of important questions.

Namely, how do we ramp up the pressure to electrify buildings and eliminate gas from our communities while staying safe in the interim and recognizing that not everyone can (or wants to) switch away from gas overnight?

To explore these nuances, Stand.earth‘s SAFE Cities campaign hosted an honest conversation in mid-February 2023 with experts in the building electrification field about an equitable, accessible roadmap for reforming our cities and homes via local action. The webinar aimed at satiating a hunger within the general public for guidance on how to proceed on this issue, and meeting the demand for spaces to create connection and conversation around these solutions.

Through this forum, we intended to help people understand the new gas stove indoor air quality research, how the gas industry has historically influenced city hall, and what we can do about it. We discussed the need to ramp up the pressure to electrify buildings and eliminate gas from our communities, while also sharing strategies for staying safe in the interim since we recognize that not everyone can (or wants to) switch away from gas appliances overnight.

Don’t get me wrong, here at Stand.earth, we’re the first to celebrate anytime the fossil fuel industry is exposed for its cartoon villan-esque scheming, but we’re also left grappling with how we navigate our fraught reality. A majority of Americans are unable to overhaul their appliances overnight. Many are renters who have minimal say over their interior spaces. People have cultural ties to food prepared with flame. And, for many working class communities, gas stoves provide a few healthy meals in the midst of barren food deserts and they have questions about going electric. Add to the mix uncertainty around federal action (or lack thereof) and we’re left feeling concerned for our collective health and hungry for a path forward.

The challenges posed by the climate crisis and fossil fuels may seem daunting – but the climate movement has never been more powerful, and transformative change is within our reach. If enough communities pass SAFE policies to phase out fossil fuel, we could stop all new oil, gas, and coal expansion projects globally – and give ourselves the best possible chance of keeping temperature rise below 1.5° while building a more resilient, equitable future and securing the health of our communities.

And crucially, increasing numbers of decision-makers are realizing that investments in clean energy will help their constituents recover from the current economic crisis, while tackling environmental racism and saving lives. This is because one of the best ways to protect people from the toxic air pollution that’s disproportionately killing Black, Indigenous and poor people is to phase out fossil fuels like gas.

The webinar recording addresses all of this and more, while giving folks concrete actions they can take forward in their own homes and communities.

 

Media contact:

Cari Barcas, Communications Director, cari.barcas@stand.earth