Accelerating the transition to clean, energy-efficient LED lighting will support governments achieve climate, energy and health goals .
A global transition to LEDs supports an equitable transition to cleaner, lower-cost lighting.
Governments now have an opportunity during the upcoming Conference of Parties (COP4), to phase out toxic lighting and reduce mercury and greenhouse gas emissions by supporting the proposed amendment by the African region to phase out fluorescent lighting by 2025.
Why should governments support the proposed amendment?
Support Green Economy
World over, governments are pursuing policies to support the transition to green economies to mitigate climate change and rising energy demands. A critical component of the low carbon and socially inclusive economy is the transition to energy-efficient LED lighting technologies.
An accelerated transition to LED light bulbs will avoid 3.5 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions by 2050. By endorsing the proposed Amendment, the parties to the Minamata Convention will accelerate an agenda to combat climate change, reduce global mercury levels and transition the world to clean lighting. This is in line with other climate change treaties such as The Paris Agreement that is aimed at mitigating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Protect Public Health and Environment
By committing to phase out mercury-containing lamps, governments will be protecting public health and the environment. Phasing out fluorescents will eliminate 232 metric tons of mercury pollution from the environment. Mercury is a known pollutant. Exposure to mercury even in small amounts can result in long-term effects, mainly on fetuses, and developing children.
Mercury released from fluorescents can travel hundreds of miles through the wind and remain actively toxic in the environment for decades. It accumulates in water bodies where it converts into toxic methylmercury and enters the food chain, posing a significant threat to wildlife and food systems.
As lighting markets in wealthy countries shift to clean LED lighting, developing countries must not be used as dumping grounds for old and inefficient technologies. By phasing out the manufacture, import, and export of fluorescents, developed economies will avoid the export of toxic and obsolete technology, while developing economies will stand firms against becoming global dumping grounds.
Reduced Strain on National Grids
LEDs consume up to 50% less energy than mercury-laden fluorescents and last 2-3 times longer. Supporting the proposed Amendment and transitioning the world to LED light bulbs, will substantially reduce the pressure on national grids and the overall global power demand by 3%. In developed economies, reduced power use will free up energy for other uses while in developing economies, the energy freed can be used to increase access to energy for all, without straining the national grid.
How is CLiC supporting Governments?
Ahead of COP4, CLiC is offering technical support to governments by:
- Preparing regional roadmaps for transitioning to LED lighting. These roadmaps will include Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and other enabling activities relevant to the region, including financing options
- Compiling and sharing data on the economic opportunities, specific to the market and individual countries.
- Supporting evidence-based studies to demonstrate the health, economic and environmental benefits of mercury-free lighting.
For support or any questions regarding the proposal and the transition to LED light bulbs reach out to our country engagement team.
Transitioning to inexpensive, energy-efficient LED retrofit lighting is not only smart, but it is also environmentally friendly and inevitable. We see it here in Ghana and across Africa. Under the Minamata Convention, the world has a unique opportunity to accelerate this transition to LED by removing exemptions for fluorescent lighting which contain hazardous mercury.Kofi A. Agyarko Director, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, & Climate Change Energy Commission