Lighting accounts for 15% of global electricity consumption and 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Accelerating the transition to energy efficient lighting could be one of the most significant short-term initiatives to improve economic and climate conditions around the world.
Lighting Goes Global
Building on and inspired by, the Indian Government’s ambitious goal to deploy 800 million of high quality, high efficiency lights through the UJALA program, the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) launched the Global Lighting Challenge (GLC) in May 2015 at CEM6. The GLC is an “everybody wins” race where policymakers and members of industry to deploy 10 billion high efficiency, high quality lighting products.
Since its launch, the GLC has built a public-private volunteer coalition of more than 60 governments, manufacturers, retailers, and expert groups with commitments totaling more than 14 billion high-quality, high-efficiency lighting products. A few major accomplishments are:
- Philips Lighting announced its aspiration to sell more than two billion energy efficient LED lights by 2020. Reaching this goal would save energy equivalent to decommissioning 60 medium-sized coal-fired power stations with emissions equivalent to 24 million cars. At the same time, the company reaffirmed its pledge to make its global operations carbon neutral by 2020.
- The White House issued a press release that specifically called out the GLC as a group that is increasing access to clean energy and efficient technology.
- The Vatican endorsed the GLC in a letter to the CEM. Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor, Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences wrote, “I want to call out and commend the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Global Lighting Challenge, which is working to deploy 10 billion energy saving LED light bulbs as quickly as possible. Success in this challenge can significantly decrease energy consumption around the world while at the same time increase access to modern lighting services for the poorest of the world.”
- The CEM so strongly believes in the power of public – private partnerships that they hosted a Public-Private Action Summit at CEM7. The summit featured opportunities for energy ministers and business leaders to highlight ambitious clean energy efforts and announce new actions to help achieve national and global clean energy goals.
Sweden’s Lighting Challenge
Just a year after the GLC launch at CEM6, Sweden launched their own lighting challenge. In May 2016, Minister Ibrahim Baylan launched Belysningsutmaningen, or “Lighting Challenge,” as Sweden’s GLC commitment.
Together with public and private actors, the Swedish government now races to reduce electricity demand for lighting by 50% by 2020 and challenges other countries to follow suit. Ahead of the launch, Minister Baylan met with several public and private sector actors to offer information on the Global Lighting Challenge.
- The National Property Board and the Swedish Fortifications Agency, which share responsibility for all central government buildings, committed to replace lighting at their facilities.
- The newly established National Agency for Public Procurement also committed to procuring more efficient, high quality lighting.
- Finally, Örebrobostäder, a local tenement owner, joined Belysningsutmaningen by promising to initiate additional activities and to serve as a testbed for best practices.
The Swedish Energy Agency is in a unique position to reach out to Swedish organizations and companies and spur local pride for their lighting challenge, something the GLC cannot do on its own.
The GLC elevates efforts to promote efficient lighting policies – including the CEM’s Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment initiative and Global Lighting Energy and Access Energy Partnership, United Nations Environment Programme and Global Environment Facility’s en.lighten initiative, International Finance Corporation’s Lighting Global, International Energy Agency’s Energy Efficient End-Use Equipment Solid State Lighting Annex, and The Climate Group.
The GLC is endorsed by Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Commission.