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Clean Cookstoves: Hillary Clinton Fights Cooking Deaths In Developing World

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers a speech at the Anna Centenary Library in Chennai, India, Wednesday, July 20, 2011. Clinton challenged India to expand its traditional sphere of interest from South Asia to neighboring regions to compete with increasing Chinese assertiveness. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool) | AP

CHENNAI, India -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is putting her diplomatic and personal influence behind a campaign to reduce the nearly 2 million annual deaths caused by dirty wood- and coal-burning cooking stoves in the developing world.

In the Indian port of Chennai (CHUH'-ny) on Wednesday, Clinton said an initiative was on track to put cleaner stoves into 100 million homes by 2020. Almost half the world's population use traditional stoves and open fires to cook their food. Exposure to smoke from their fuel, often dung or wood, kills close to 500,000 people each year, mainly women and children, in India alone.

Clinton has adopted the Alliance for Clean Cookstoves as a signature project. It aims to help develop and market low-cost, efficient stoves in developing countries.

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