UNEP’s en.lighten challenges countries to halve global CO2 emissions
Electricity for lighting accounts for almost 20% of electricity consumption and 6% of CO2 emissions worldwide. If not addressed immediately, global energy consumption for lighting will grow by 60% by the year 2030.The en.lighten initiative aims to reduce CO2 emissions by almost half if all developing and emerging countries join as Partners.
The phase-out of inefficient incandescent lamps and their replacement with higher efficiency light bulbs, such as light emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), is
one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to significantly reduce carbon emissions. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP)/Global Environment Facility (GEF) en.lighten initiative has been established as a globally coordinated effort to accelerate the transition to efficient lighting to reduce the threat of global climate change.
Despite improvements in technology and the looming climate threat, most developing and emerging countries around the world have not taken steps towards the switch to energy efficient lighting. Making the transition would significantly impact the ability to use existing power without having to build new and expensive generation facilities. For example, India would be able to provide power to 35 million homes, and South Africa to 4 million homes, from the electricity saved from replacing all existing incandescent lamps with energy efficient alternatives.
En.lighten and its partners have targeted 2016 for the global phase-out of inefficient lighting products. Providing expert technical and policy guidance to countries will help to meet this date and ensure that replacement bulbs meet global quality standards and that used bulbs are disposed of in an environmentally sound way. So far, a total of 30 countries from four continents have joined the Global Partnership Program and more countries are expected to join soon, with your help.
So take the challenge now! Show your support for the switch to energy efficient lighting to reduce the threat of global climate change and improve the quality of life for people. Everyone around the world should be able to look forward to a brighter and more sustainable future. It’s as easy as changing a light bulb!