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COP18: Philips, UN say step up efficiency measures to cut costs, improve competitiveness

03 December 2012
COP18: Philips, UN say step up efficiency measures to cut costs, improve competitiveness

DOHA: Philips has called for greater efforts on energy efficiency at COP18 in Doha, a course of action which is backed by the UN and reiterated in a new report by Ecofys.

Philips wants governments, businesses and society to step up efficiency through technology such as LED lighting, based on findings that it is the most effective way to reduce costs, improve competitiveness, and significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Enabling economic growth

Highlighting the urgent need to improve energy efficiency such as LED upscale for economic reasons, Eric Rondolat, CEO, Philips Lighting said: “LED lighting is a technology innovation that enhances efficiency and brings substantial savings. These savings can potentially be re-invested in cities and new infrastructures, thus enabling sustainable growth.’’

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agrees with the opportunities that can be unlocked by boosting efficiency. She commented: “Energy efficiency measures hold enormous potential not just to make a significant contribution to curb global greenhouse gas emissions, but to cut energy bills for consumers and businesses, support green jobs and enterprises, and boost economies.

"In collaboration with key stakeholders including business and industry, governments need to step up measures that promote behavioural change and drive energy efficiency improvements across all sectors.”

Calculating the benefits

Ecofys and Philips today released a report which backs this strong call entitled, The benefits of energy efficiency: why wait?, which aims to estimate the scale of efficiency benefits based on findings from leading organizations in the field.

One important finding from the report is that improving general electricity efficiency by just an extra 1-2% per year, is equal to the production of 2,500 to 5,000 medium-sized power plants.

Reiterating the potential of energy efficiency claimed in the report, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, UN Secretary-General's designated Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All, added: "Strengthening energy efficiency provides a twin-win for both the climate and the economy. It is one of the most powerful, cost-effective tools available to help meet our climate goals while also saving money for governments, businesses and consumers alike. Energy efficiency is essential for making sustainable energy for all a reality."

Doha and beyond

During COP18 this week, Philips will continue to call for a full switch-over to energy efficient LED lighting. This call is backed by a report we published with Philips earlier in the year which used results of global trials to show LEDs offer electricity savings in the range of 50-70% a year. Our report was followed by a call to make global street lighting LED-based – or as efficient as – by 2020.

Speaking at the report launch at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June, Harry Verhaar, Senior Director of Energy and Climate at Philips Lighting said that some 40% of global electricity use could be avoided if the world switched to LEDs. This equates to 1.3 trillion euros in savings or the equivalent of not having to build some 642 coal fired power stations.

Photo by UN Climate Change.


If you are interested in reading more about the events as they unfold at COP18, Damian Ryan our Seinor Policy Manager will be writing news and analysis and live-tweeting throughout COP18, as well as providing a more in-depth post-COP Briefing after the events. Keep up to date on our website and by following him on Twitter during COP18. 

In the run up to and during Doha we are also posting a series of articles featuring analysis from our teams in the USEurope, India and Australia on their nations' COP negotiating positions.

Follow a live feed from COP18 below.

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