President Julius Maada Bio has departed Freetown for France. On Tuesday, he is joining hundreds of leaders from around the world at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris for a Summit on Clean Cooking in Africa.

The summit aims to drive significant change in clean cooking access for the nearly one billion Africans using polluting fuels, the cause of premature deaths of approximately half a million women and children on the continent every year.

It is being hosted by the International Energy Agency (IEA) at UNESCO.

The IEA and its partners are expected to announced hundreds of millions of dollars and carbon credits directed toward cleaner cooking initiatives in Africa.

In a report it released last month The Role of Carbon Credits in Scaling Up Innovative Clean Energy Technologies – the IEA says carbon credits can help to catalyse investment in innovative low-emissions technologies.

According to the IEA’s analysis, increased demand for modern cooking fuels can be met readily by today’s energy system, however it will require some additional infrastructure, especially in Africa.

The IEA said that achieving clean access for all by 2030 adds less than 3% to modern energy demand today, while the use of fuel wood and charcoal will fall by 70% in emerging and developing economies.

“Leaders from government, industry, international organisations and civil society will explore how strong global collaboration can drive the clean cooking agenda forward,” said the IEA.