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Pakistan can save 5.5 percent of electricity annually through efficient lighting: UNEP

A total of 5.5 percent of total electricity consumption of Pakistan could be saved every year through a transition to efficient lighting, resulting in annual countrywide savings of over US$ 408 million, revealed the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today at Rio+20.

This is among the main findings of 150 national assessments and a new global policy map on efficient lighting, released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners at Rio+20 on June 21.

The assessments were produced in conjunction with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and cover 150 countries. The assessments are released on the website of the ‘en.lighten’ Global Efficient Lighting Partnership Programme of the UNEP.

Pakistan, according to assessments, would benefit on many front by this transition. “It could save 35.3 percent of total electricity consumption in Pakistan and would decrease annually 2.0 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission, which is equivalent to taking out 0.5 million cars off the road, while 3.7 kg of mercury emissions can be avoided”, show the assessments.

The new assessments elaborate that India, by this transition, could cut its lighting electricity consumption by over 35 percent, which is equivalent to avoiding the construction of eleven large coal-fired power plants and taking over 10 million cars off the road, while it could save the US$2 billion annually.

The UNEP earlier told the media that a total of five percent of global electricity consumption could be saved every year through a transition to efficient lighting, resulting in annual worldwide savings of over US$ 110 billion.

The yearly savings in electricity of the phase-out would be equivalent to closing over 250 large coal-fired power plants, resulting in avoided investment costs of approximately US$ 210 billion. Additionally, the 490 megatonnes (Mt) of CO2 savings per year is equivalent to the emissions of more than 122 million mid-sized cars.

A group of 14 pilot countries will benefit from such opportunities as part of a Global Efficient Lighting Partnerships Programme – coordinated by the UNEP and partners – that will get underway next month. According to details, countries will receive support to develop national phase-out plans, for inefficient lamps, from experts provided by the ‘en.lighten’ initiative: a public-private partnership led by UNEP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in collaboration with Philips Lighting, Osram AG, and the National Lighting Test Centre of China.

“One of the most cost-effective ways to contribute to the reduction of global carbon emissions is the phase-out of inefficient lighting technologies,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director.

“An increasing numbers of countries are now achieving major financial savings, generating green jobs, and seeing reductions in mercury, sulphur dioxide, and other pollutants from power stations, through a switch to efficient lighting. As the Rio+20 negotiations continue, these new findings from the en.lighten initiative demonstrate that ambitious policies and partnerships must be seized if the social, economic, and environmental benefits of a transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient green economy are to be realized.”

Constantin Birnstiel, Chief Sustainability Officer, Osram AG told the media that lighting accounted for around 20 percent of global electricity consumption. “Therefore, energy-efficient products are a key to a sustainable and green future. Green is lean,” he said.

To date, almost 50 developing and emerging countries supported by ‘en.lighten’ have committed to phasing out incandescent lamps by 2016. Pakistan is not part of the initiative yet.

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