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Energy Access & Efficiency

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The energy sector is the main source of global greenhouse emissions. Enhancing energy efficiency is a key solution to stay below 2°C global average temperature rise. Energy efficiency has great potential in transport, buildings, industry, equipment and appliances and it simply makes economic sense. Photo © Abbie Trayler-Smith/DFID

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Website: en.lighten Initiative
Contact: jonathan.duwyn@unep.org +33 (0) 1 44 37 19 86


The en.lighten Initiative helps developing countries and emerging economies adopt energy efficient lighting products, thereby supporting global efforts to tackle climate change. Nearly 70 countries spanning Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East have joined the initiative to phase out inefficient incandescent lamps by the end of 2016.

Electricity for lighting accounts for approximately 15% of global power consumption and 5% of worldwide greenhouse gas 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 tonnes every year.

Partners and Objectives of en.lighten

The en.lighten initiative, organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), also aims at reducing CO2 emissions and the release of mercury from fossil fuel combustion. The initiative is a public-private partnership with global lighting manufacturers Osram and Philips providing in-kind co-financing.

The partnership cooperates with the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative, which has identified advanced lighting as an area with high potential to curb emissions and selected en.lighten to lead the international effort.

The en.lighten partnership supports individual governments and regional groups of countries to develop markets for energy efficient lighting products, helping them reap the associated financial, energy and environmental benefits of efficient lighting.

Emphasis is placed on an integrated policy approach so that a transition can be sustained by the domestic market without continued external support or resources. This includes:

  • Energy performance standards, to ensure the basic performance and quality of energy-saving lighting products, with the aim to permanently remove obsolete technologies from markets.
  • Supporting policies and mechanisms to promote the demand for energy-saving products. This can happen through utility programmes, rebates, favorable fiscal policies or market based mechanisms.
  • Monitoring, verification, and enforcement to ensure adequate surveillance of markets to discourage the distribution of non-compliant products.
  • Environmentally sound management of lighting products, to avoid the leakage of hazardous and electronic waste which are present in some energy efficient technologies and to foster the development of a circular economy and the creation of jobs.

The initiative supports developing countries and emerging economies with technical expertise. A number of customizable tools have been developed including:

  • Country lighting assessments that explore the potential savings in electricity consumption, CO2 emission reductions and the financial costs of replacing all inefficient on-grid lighting technologies in all lighting sectors.
  • A toolkit that provides practical and technical information to save governmental resources, speed up the transition to energy efficient lighting, boost economies, and mitigate climate change.
  • An efficient lighting savings forecasting tool to help users model the potential savings that a country can achieve through the rapid transition to energy efficient lighting.
  • A global policy map to provide an overview of energy efficient lighting policies for all sectors and all technologies.

Photo credit: Momentum for Change/UNFCCC

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