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The UNEP initiative en.lighten

Initiative en.lighten

Electricity for lighting accounts approximately 15% of global power consumption and 5% of worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A switch to efficient on-grid and off-grid lighting globally would save more than $140 billion and reduce CO2 emissions by 580 million tons every year. Few actions could reduce carbon emissions as cheaply and easily as the phase-out of inefficient lighting, making it one of the most effective and economically advantageous ways to combat climate change.

However, market forces are not sufficient to achieve the rapid transformation needed in the lighting market to respond to the challenge of climate change. Therefore a multi-stakeholder global partnership is required to accelerate and intensify the transition to more efficient lighting technologies and support countries as they embark upon transformation programs.

OSRAM speaks during the UN Climate Conference COP21 in Paris

As a member of the en.lighten-Initiative, Osram addressed the need to save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions via efficient lighting during two podium discussions. The United Nations organised the discussions as part of the 'Sustainable Energy For All' platform.

"LED lighting solutions save power and therefore reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and they're not only environmentally-friendly but also economic. In most situations, costs for upgrading to LED lighting are paid back rapidly due to lower electricity costs," stated Dr. Eladia Pulido, CEO of the Osram Lighting Solutions business unit. Dr. Pulido took part in the podium discussion concerning "Energy Efficiency – The Game Changer" during the UN climate conference COP21 in Paris. Christophe Richon, Strategic Marketing Osram Lighting Solutions, also held a talk as part of the accompanying technical forum of the ADEME (French agency for environment and energy management) about "LED Streetlighting Solutions – An easy Switch for Cities".

An accelerate global transition to more efficient lighting

The UNEP en.lighten initiative was created in 2009 as a partnership between UNEP, Philips Lighting and OSRAM with support of the Global Environment Facility. The initiative seeks to accelerate a global market transformation to environmentally sustainable, energy efficient lighting technologies, as well as to develop strategies to phase-out inefficient lighting to reduce CO2 emissions and the release of mercury from fossil fuel combustion.

En.lighten assists countries in accelerating market transformation with environmentally sustainable, efficient lighting technologies by:

  • Promoting high performance, efficient technologies in developing/emerging countries.
  • Developing a global policy strategy to phase-out inefficient and obsolete lighting products.
  • Substituting traditional fuel-based lighting with modern, efficient alternatives.


Countries spanning Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East, have joined the en.lighten Global Efficient Lighting Partnership Programme to target the phase-out of inefficient incandescent lamps by the end of 2016.  These 66 partner countries alone will save over US $7.5 billion and 35 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

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