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New UN report confirms urgency of LED lighting adoption globally

4 July 2017, 0:00 BST 2 min read

LONDON: A new report was launched today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which provides guidance on energy efficient lighting solutions and how they can drive significant reductions in global carbon emissions.  

The report - Accelerating the Global Adoption of Energy-Efficient Lighting - is a policy and implementation guide and focuses on energy efficient LED lighting in buildings and street lighting sectors.

It was prepared by UNEP’s United for Efficiency (U4E) initiative, through an international consultative process led by U4E’s International Lighting Taskforce, which The Climate Group participated in. The report is intended to guide policymakers on how to promote energy efficient lighting in their respective national markets.


Approximately 2,900 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year is consumed for lighting, and with economic growth and rapid urbanization, lighting services are projected to rise significantly over the next two decades.

The analysis shows that by 2030, through a widespread shift from conventional lighting technologies - such as incandescent, halogen and fluorescent lamps - to solid-state lighting products based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs), energy savings of over 50% could be achieved over the business-as-usual scenario. 

The report includes an overview of fast-evolving innovative lighting technologies, presents key information and draws lessons from best practice LED delivery models around the world. The research supports The Climate Group’s message that LED technology is a mature and proven solution, and as one of the most accessible and impactful technologies, it should be scaled-up globally as the number one energy efficiency priority to achieve the huge potential savings and emissions reductions.


According to the research, a transition to energy efficient lighting would reduce the global electricity demand for lighting by 30-40% in 2030.

The report also emphasizes the critical role of effective policy measures that transform markets toward higher energy efficiency, with almost 50% of all countries having no requirement for the phasing out of old-fashioned, inefficient lighting.

To achieve this required step-change in the lighting sector globally, the report identifies a five-stage integrated policy approach for transforming the respective markets towards higher energy efficiency.

The report identifies national commitments on LEDs as a key policy measure which could have the biggest impact, with India becoming the first country in the world to announce a national commitment to change all lighting to LEDs by 2018. This has seen an exponential growth in the rates of LED adoption for both residential users and cities upgrading their streetlights. Having a national commitment in place leads to the standardization of projects; decreasing risk and increasing investor confidence. This is a key factor in accelerating the roll-out of LEDs globally, and follows The Climate Group’s call to make all public lighting LED or as energy efficient by 2025.