- Associated Press - Friday, May 6, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) - Oscar-winning actress Julia Roberts is teaming with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to raise awareness about the dangers posed by dirty wood- and coal-burning cooking stoves in developing nations.

Roberts will work as a celebrity spokeswoman for the Alliance for Clean Cookstoves’ program to place cleaner stoves in 100 million homes by 2020. It was announced in September by Clinton and mainly targets women and girls who do the cooking in poorer countries.

The State Department says the toxic smoke from basic, often open cooking stoves kill nearly 2 million people each year.

Roberts said in a statement that these were “senseless and preventable deaths.”