Climate Change Mitigation Benefits

Upgrading all lighting globally would achieve annual CO2 reductions of 534 million tonnes from on-grid lighting systems and more than 90 million tonnes from off-grid lighting. Taken together, this represents a savings potential of 624 million tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to the combined yearly CO2 emissions of Australia, the Czech Republic and Pakistan.

To get a sense of the magnitude of these reductions, achievable efficient lighting savings can be related to the emissions of vehicles: 624 million tonnes of CO2 per year is equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 150 million mid-size cars.

With regard to off-grid lighting, utilizing kerosene lamps, candles, and similar “open flame” light sources mean that over 1.3 billion people face hazards from this fuel based lighting including: indoor air pollution, poisoning, burns and house fires. These emissions have not been estimated, nor have the CO2 emissions associated with generators that operate to charge batteries, or service households / businesses when the power is cut. Thus, the estimated benefit of sustainable off-grid lighting represents a minimum of the actual potential.

Figure 1: Percentage of CO2 savings relative to total national annual greenhouse gas emissions for on-grid lighting in 2010 Climate Change Mitigation Benefits