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COP22 Side Event: The Strong Potential of LED Lighting in Africa

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

COP22 Side Event: The Strong Potential of LED Lighting in Africa

International leaders gathered at COP22 to raise awareness of energy-efficient lighting’s potential.

At the COP22 climate conference in Marrakech, Morocco, the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) United for Efficiency (U4E) effort collaborated with the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) to organize a 16 November side event: “Energy-Efficient Lighting for Africa and Beyond.” The event raised awareness about the savings possible from light-emitting diodes (LED lighting) in Africa and announced a new partnership between U4E and Energy Efficiency Services Limited of India. During the event, the CEM invited African participants to join its Global Lighting Challenge.

The COP22 event highlighted the potential societal, health, and economic benefits of energy-efficient on-grid and off-grid lighting for African countries. According to U4E, LED lighting could save Africa electricity equivalent to 30 large power plants and also save USD 5 billion in reduced electricity bills for consumers.

“The United for Efficiency initiative is a strong proof that coordinated collaboration between countries, international organizations, and the private sector can accelerate sustainable development,” agreed Stéphane Himber, Director Governmental Affairs of OSRAM, a multinational lighting manufacturer.

Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs at Philips Lighting, explained how, as part of the initiative, an integrated policy approach for countries to transition to energy-efficient lighting had been developed. “These policy recommendations have recently been updated, providing countries with guidance on how best to scale up energy-efficient lighting, and will be published next month in a lighting policy guide,” Verhaar said.

The Global Lighting Challenge was presented as part of the event, and the CEM invited African countries, businesses, and initiatives to join its race to deploy 10 billion high-efficiency, high-quality, and affordable lighting products (such as LED bulbs). The Global Lighting Challenge was launched December 2015 in Paris at COP21.

In addition, a partnership agreement was announced between U4E and Energy Efficiency Services Limited of India, with a view that U4E partner countries will learn from the Indian experience of a large LED lighting scale-up through bulk procurement, financial mechanisms, and consumer campaigns.

This article is a slightly modified version of one originally published on the U4E website. United for Efficiency works with a group of private and technical institutions and governments in over 50 countries around the world. It promotes energy-efficient products and the establishment of an integrated policy approach, including energy efficiency standards and financial mechanisms, which accelerate market penetration.