14 new pilot countries are to develop national plans towards phasing out incandescent lighting, as part of the UNEP en.lighten Global Efficient Lighting Partnerships Programme. Incandescent lamps have already been phased-out, or are scheduled to be phased-out in most OECD countries, Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Mexico, Vietnam and several developing countries. The complete transition to efficient lighting in all sectors throughout Africa could reduce electrical demand enough to electrify over 14 million presently un-serviced households.
Speaking at the Rio+20 Summit in June 2012, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner noted that, "One of the most cost-effective ways to contribute to the reduction of global carbon emissions is the phase-out of inefficient lighting technologies. Increasing numbers of countries are now achieving major financial savings, generating green jobs, and seeing reductions in mercury, sulphur dioxide, and other pollutants from power stations, through a switch to efficient lighting.“
The en.lighten programme aims to assist countries in accelerating market transformation with environmentally sustainable, efficient lighting technologies. In terms of South-South Cooperation, the initiative promotes information exchange between countries, fosters dialogue and encourages policy alignment.