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  • Release on :2016-03-16

We're working to transform how we light our world.

Lighting accounts for nearly 6% of global CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, or 1,900 million tons of CO2 per year — the equivalent of CO2 emissions from 70% of the world’s passenger vehicles. By making lighting more energy efficient we can make a significant dent in carbon emissions.

Light-emitting diode (LED) lamps can cut CO2 emissions by 50–70%, with additional savings achievable with flexible smart controls. LED outdoor lighting also reduces costs, enhances public safety, minimizes light pollution and makes public spaces friendlier at night. The potential for LED technology is unprecedented: some industry experts predict that within 10 years LED lights, both indoor and outdoor, could deliver more environmental and economic benefits than any other clean technology including renewable power.

In 2012 we conducted the LightSavers project - a global trial of LED lamps in 12 large cities around the globe to evaluate how the latest LED products performed and are perceived by the public. The results were presented in a report highlighting how LED technology is ready for full scale rollout around the world. We also published a technical summary for lighting managers as well as a series of city specific reports.


Since then, many cities have announced major upgrades to LED lighting, but the vast majority have still yet to make the move. As a result in 2014 we entered the second phase of the LED-scale up project and announced the launch of a consultation process supported by our lead Partner Philips Lighting, to identify remaining regional barriers to adoption of LEDs and accelerate the transition to energy efficient lighting around the world. 

Then at Climate Week NYC 2015, we called on every single city and utility around the world to schedule the switch of their street lighting to LED by 2025, with the launch of our new major global campaign LED = Lower Emissions Delivered and published a new report, The Big Switch: Why it's time to scale up LED street lighting. The report reveals that while technological barriers for adoption have now largely been overcome, cities want more support from government and financial institutions to refine business models and financing options to help them make the switch.