The en.lighten Global Efficient Lighting Partnership: Fostering Regional Cooperation on Energy Efficient Lighting
Countries around the world are beginning to phase out conventional incandescent lamps. Some developed countries have established effective approaches to eliminate inefficient lamps by employing mandatory minimum energy performance standards. Other countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Ghana, Mexico, Senegal and South Africa have also begun or completed phase-out activities, and China has announced that will it complete its transition to efficient lighting by 2016.
To mobilize efforts to make a global transition a reality, in 2009, a partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), leading light manufacturer OSRAM AG, and Philips Lighting, with the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), established the en.lighten initiative to accelerate a global market transformation to environmentally sustainable lighting technologies. The strategy for doing so centers on the development of a coordinated global strategy and the provision of technical support for the phase-out of inefficient lighting. Ultimately, this will lead to a significant reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change.
To this end, en.lighten assists countries in accelerating market transformation with environmentally sustainable, efficient lighting technologies. Within the en.lighten initiative, two projects are of specific relevance to South-South cooperation efforts: 1) the Global Efficient Lighting Partnership; and 2) regional conferences established by en.lighten to promote inter-country information exchange, dialogue, policy alignment. This report details the en.lighten initiative with a particular focus on these two components.
1. 46 countries in the en.lighten Global Efficient Lighting Partnership Program
2. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
3. OSRAM AG
4. Philips Lighting
5. Global Environment Facility (GEF)
1. Global Efficient Lighting Centre Collaborating Centre
In September 2011, the Global Efficient Lighting Centre – UNEP Collaborating Centre for Energy Efficient Lighting, was launched in partnership between UNEP and the National Lighting Test Centre. Located in Beijing, China, this it is a specialized and accredited facility that provides lighting testing, training, advice, quality control, and capacity-building support to developing and emerging countries. It was established to promote the rapid development of the energy efficient lighting technologies in the South and around the world.
2. Global Efficient Lighting Partnership
en.lighten launched the Global Efficient Lighting Partnership Programme in the Fall of 2011 and today, forty-six countries have joined with more expected to become members in the near future. This voluntary initiative is an opportunity for countries to work with en.lighten to achieve a coordinated national or regional transition to efficient lighting. en.lighten, along with its international partners, provides support to national regulators and/or regional bodies in the development of policies, strategies and actions for the phase-out of inefficient lighting products. The Global Partnership Program supports the global phase-out of inefficient incandescent lamps by the end of 2016 when all countries should have phased out, be in process of phasing out, or have policies in place to phase-out these types.
Countries will be supported in developing their own national transition plans based on their unique country circumstances, following an integrated approach that includes: MEPSs to ensure the efficiency and quality of products; supporting policies and mechanisms to help restrict the supply of inefficient lighting and promote the demand for MEPS-compliant products; MVE processes to discourage the distribution of poor quality products; and, environmental sustainability actions, such as product guidelines and sound disposal and recycling plans.
The en.lighten initiative and its partners will provide targeted technical expertise to support the development of National Efficient Lighting Strategies to realize related financial and climate benefits. Additionally, en.lighten will assist in the development of coordinated regional activities to ensure effective quality control and surveillance and environmentally sustainable end-of-life programs for spent lamps.
Activities are set to commence in pilot countries in June 2012, with the first national inception workshop being held in Morocco. Additional inception workshops will take place in early July in Uruguay and Chile. Other countries that have been chosen for the implementation pilot phase activities and will engage in national and regional multi-stakeholder workshops include: Central America, as a region, including Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, as well as Jordan, the Philippines, and Tunisia.
For the pilot countries, direct support activities will be provided by en.lighten lighting experts. Additionally, online support and access to professional resources through email and by telephone will be available for the development of national transition activities. Technical webinars and modeling tools will also be provided.
Assistance will also be given to the rest of countries that have joined the Global Partnership through an online Efficient Lighting Support Center, beginning in the summer of 2012. Support activities will include: technical assistance by top efficient lighting experts; other useful tools such as the Country Lighting Assessments, publications, and guidance documents; and, webinars on key efficient lighting topics. en.lighten and its partners are actively fundraising to provide additional direct technical and financial assistance to the growing number of en.lighten partner countries in order to make the global transition to efficient lighting a reality.
The accumulated savings from the transition to efficient lighting and the phase-out of inefficient incandescent lamps in en.lighten Partner countries translates to 35 million tons of carbon dioxide, or the emissions from over 43 medium sized coal-fired power plants.
3. The Transition to Efficient Lighting in the Middle East and North Africa
The second regional meeting of the en.lighten initiative was held in Beirut, Lebanon in September 2011. At the event, conducted for Middle Eastern and North African countries, delegates adopted the Beirut Declaration, which encourages the phasing out of general service incandescent lamps and the transition to more efficient lighting products. Such a move could save the region an estimated US$3 billion a year in energy costs. All governments support an integrated transition to efficient lighting, including policies and procedures to address all aspects of replacement products and practices, such as sound disposal and recycling. Energy efficiency officials and climate change focal points from 16 countries participated in the event.
4. The Transition to Efficient Lighting in Southeast Asia
During the third regional meeting of the en.lighten initiative, conducted for Southeast Asian countries, delegates discussed the phasing out of general service incandescent lamps and the transition to more efficient lighting products by 2016. Such a move could save the region an estimated US$1.6 billion a year in energy costs. All governments support an integrated transition to efficient lighting including policies and procedures to address all aspects of replacement products and practices, including sound disposal and recycling.
The energy efficiency officials and climate change focal points from 18 countries that participated in the regional event included: representatives from the Ministries of Energy and Environment, climate change negotiators, national utilities, manufacturing, international organizations, and NGOs.
5. The Transition to Efficient Lighting in Latin America and the Caribbean
Government representatives from 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean voiced their support for the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs at the en.lighten “Transition to Energy Efficient Lighting in Latin America and the Caribbean” conference. Such a move could save the region an estimated US$4 billion a year in energy costs.
Participants at the regional meeting signed the “Santo Domingo Declaration,” which states that the phase out of incandescent lamps is one of the easiest ways to reduce CO2 emissions and achieve significant energy and financial savings.
Energy efficiency officials and climate change focal points from 26 countries participated in the event. In the 20 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean analyzed, 4 percent of total electricity consumption would be saved if incandescent lamps were substituted with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). This totals US$4 billion per year of savings for consumers in energy bills and the equivalent carbon emissions of 4 million cars. Eight large power plants (500 MW) could be closed in the region due to increased energy efficiency.
1. The en.lighten initiative is a proven example of a successful public private partnership. By involving all sectors of society in the South—governments, civil society, academia, research organizations, international agencies, and the private sector—best practices can be shared and disseminated.
Despite technological improvements and the impending climate threat, most developing countries in the South have not taken steps towards the transition to energy efficient lighting. Countries that have not made the shift may be unsure about how to begin their own transition, while others may be skeptical about the potential benefits or are lacking the necessary resources and capacity. Only by working together can the efforts that have already begun with the environmental leadership of some countries assist others and offer best practices to accelerate efforts to reduce dangerous carbon emissions and the threat of global climate change around the world.
The Global Efficient Lighting Partnership Programme is an important tool to promote national and regional cooperation. As partners, countries with the Central American region and all ECOWAS states will benefit with regard to the development of policies, strategies, and actions for the phase-out of inefficient lighting products. Working together as part of a linked effort at a global, national, and regional level is the most effective way to ensure that transition activities are assimilated into policies that include crucial environmental sustainability considerations.
A tangible and convincing argument needs to be made for countries to move towards a shift to efficient lighting for those countries that do not already have policies in place. Country Lighting Assessments have been developed provide information for decision makers and stakeholders on the energy and financial savings and climate change mitigation benefits to be achieved from a transition to efficient lighting.
The ongoing policy initiatives from various countries need to be reviewed on an ongoing basis. To this end, an online global policy map has been developed to provide an overview of energy efficient lighting policies for countries in the South and around the world. Each country is ranked according to its policy development and gaps and information ratings will be regularly updated according to a country’s progress in achieving a sustainable transition to efficient lighting. The map will allow tracking and benchmarking of efficient lighting progress globally.