I mentioned in an earlier post about the phase out of inefficient lighting in many countries around the world (shown in the map from UNEP above) and the need to ensure we are recycling and dealing with used lamps in an environmental sound manner (countries with some measures in place are shown in the map from UNEP below).
It might be worth taking a moment to think about why this is a policy initiative and a priority for many countries and organisations (including UNEP, which promotes efficient lighting throughout the world in its en.lighten progamme). According to UNEP, electricity for lighting accounts for approximately “15% of global power consumption and 5% of worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.” Switching to efficient lighting globally “would save more than $140 billion and reduce CO2 emissions by 580 million tonnes every year”. UNEP also has data on specific countries’ lighting electricity use and potential savings by switching to energy efficient lighting. UNEP promotes an integrated approach to energy efficient lighting that also involves end-of-life and environmental management. Specifically, UNEP highlights the importance of the following environmentally sound management measures on a national level that include:
1. Regulations for maximum mercury levels to instigate progressively lower levels of mercury in lamps
2. Electronic waste handling regulations with provisions for mandatory lamp collection and recycling
3. Other lamp- related activities (e.g. collection programmes, recycling facility, voluntary schemes, awareness-raising about the importance of collection and recycling, etc.)
I will be further exploring the measures mentioned above in future posts!