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Sustainable off-grid lighting solutions can deliver major development and climate benefits

February 21, 2013

Sustainable off-grid lighting solutions can deliver major development and climate benefits

Replacing millions of kerosene lamps, candles and flashlights used worldwide with modern solar lighting can provide an increasingly low-cost solution to reducing carbon emissions, indoor air pollution and health risks, and boosting green jobs, according to new studies from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

UNEP has announced a new strategic partnership with the private sector to facilitate a market shift towards energy-efficient off-grid lighting to reduce the estimated 74 million tons of annual carbon emissions from fuel-based light sources commonly used in developing countries. The collaboration with the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) will see the launch of an international effort to accelerate the deployment of enabling policies towards sustainable off-grid lighting.

To underscore the new partnership, the UNEP-led en.lighten initiative has unveiled new national assessments for 80 countries on the economic and environmental gains that can be achieved through a shift to solar-powered alternatives.

“Replacing the world’s 670 million kerosene lamps with cleaner, safer solar-powered lighting represents a major opportunity to deliver across multiple fronts, from cuts in global carbon emissions, health risks from indoor air pollution, support for green technologies and the generation of green jobs,” said UN Under Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

The en.lighten initiative has been established to accelerate efforts to reduce dangerous carbon emissions and the threat of global climate change around the world. The initiative has set a target date for the global phase-out of all inefficient lighting by the end of 2016.

Read more at UNEP News.

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