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Multi billion dollar benefits of global switch to energy-efficient lighting

Cancun, 1 December 2010 - Indonesia could save $1 billion a year and cut its greenhouse gas emissions by eight million tonnes of CO2 annually - the equivalent of taking two million cars off the road a year - by switching to energy-saving bulbs .

South Africa might save US$280 million a year and remove emissions equal to 625,000 cars annually by following a similar path, say findings released, Wednesday, at the climate convention meeting by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Mexico would save $900 million, reducing 5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year in a soon to be announced plan to replace incandescent lamps in the country. With the electricity saved from this small shift, 3 coal power plants would become unnecessary.

It is expected that Brazil will save US$2 billion a year and 4 million tonnes of CO2 - the equivalent emissions from 1 million cars - when legislation in the country is finalized, by mid 2012.

For the Ukraine, an economy in transition, the cost savings could be US$210 million per annum with greenhouse gas reductions of 2 million tonnes of CO2 a year - equal to taking half a million cars off the road annually.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: "In reality, the actual economic benefits could be even higher. A switch to efficient lighting in Indonesia, for example, would avoid the need to build 3.5 coal-fired power stations costing US$2.5 billion and similar findings come from other country assessments".

"Such calculations do not include the wider environmental, health and 'Green Economy' benefits to communities and countries of switching away from, for example, fuels such as kerosene and reducing emissions from sources such as fossil-fueled power stations - an estimated 1.8 million deaths a year are linked with in-door and 800,000 with out-door air pollution: more efficient lighting has a role to play here too".

Full Release

The findings come from the ‘en.lighten initiative’ - a partnership between UNEP and lighting companies Osram and Philips



Further Resources

en.lighten Initiative

UN Climate Change Conference Cancun

Emissions Gap Report

UNEP and Climate Change


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