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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: United For Efficiency
Contact: jonathan.duwyn@unep.org +33 (0) 1 44 37 19 86


United For Efficiency (U4E) is a global initiative to double the rate of energy efficiency by 2030 of products such as refrigerators, air conditioners, electric motors, and distribution transformers. The U4E initiative brings together public and private organizations to support the transition to high efficiency appliances and equipment. U4E has been officially selected by the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative to lead the global acceleration of energy efficient lighting, appliances and equipment.

With increasing urbanization and growing middle classes, modern conveniences such as lighting, appliances and equipment will be increasingly purchased and used by an ever larger global population. For example, the number of refrigerators in use in non-OECD countries is expected to double between 2010 and 2030.

Against this backdrop, the rapid deployment of highly energy efficient products is a crucial part of global efforts to keep the global average temperature rise under a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius, as internationally agreed. A global transition to energy efficient lighting, appliances and equipment can save more than 2,500 TWh of electricity use per annum, reducing CO2 emissions by 1.25 billion tonnes a year. Furthermore, these consumers can save 350 billion $US per year in reduced electricity bills.

The U4E initiative brings together public and private organizations to support the transition to high efficiency appliances and equipment. U4E offers policy guidance, best practice recommendations, technical expertise and the analysis of savings potential country-by-country to help them leapfrog to energy efficient appliances and equipment.

Nearly 20 countries have already signed up to the U4E global partnership, committing to advance energy efficiency of appliances and equipment. Additionally the initiative is already supported by 5 global manufactures, who share best practices on the promotion of energy efficiency and provide technical assistance.

U4E is convened by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Copper Association (ICA), the environmental and energy efficiency NGO CLASP, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).


Photo credit: Niall Kennedy (Flickr)

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