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Accelerated transition to efficient lighting

The Global Efficient Lighting Forum held in Beijing, China on 10 – 11 November, mobilized the international community to accelerate the deployment of advanced lighting technologies globally.

Governments, lighting experts and international donors agreed to move the agenda of efficient lighting forward, even more quickly and on a greater scale, to save energy, reduce CO2 emissions, and improve the lives and livelihoods of millions of people who currently lack access to clean, reliable lighting. The Forum was co-organized by the UNEP en.lighten initiative and Collaborating Centre for Energy Efficient Lighting.


A worldwide shift to energy-efficient lighting in all sectors would lower electricity demand for lighting by more than 1,000 terawatt-hours and reduce CO2 emissions by 530 million tonnes annually. The widespread use of commercially available efficient lamps and lighting devices would reduce electricity bills globally by US$120 billion each year and avoid the construction of about 280 new coal-fired power plants, saving an additional US$23 billion.


Participants also recognized the urgency and importance of bringing modern lighting services to the 1.3 billion people around the world who lack access to the grid. If solar LED lanterns were used in place of kerosene and candles, the health and safety of billions of people would be improved, while displacing 90 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.


The UNEP en.lighten initiative addresses the challenge of accelerating global market transformation to environmentally sustainable lighting technologies by providing policy and technical support for the transition to energy-efficient lighting. To date, 66 developing and emerging countries have joined the en.lighten initiative and committed to establishing policies and standards to phase out inefficient incandescent lamps by the end of 2016.


The expansion of the effort to transition to efficient lighting globally is the cornerstone of the Lighting Accelerator in the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for all (SE4ALL) Action Agenda. The recommendations and actions resulting from the Global Efficient Lighting Forum are a key contribution in achieving the SE4ALL efficiency goal.


"Efficient lighting can help address climate change - the defining issue of our time" – Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General


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