The phase-out is linked to a global initiative from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) with the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to tackle climate change through the transition to energy efficient lighting.
South Africa by the announcement became the first African nation to undertake a comprehensive national phase-out transition from inefficient lighting.
The phase-out of inefficient lighting according to a statement from UNEP was one of the quickest, easiest and most effective ways to save energy and combat climate change. Electricity for lighting accounts for close to 20 per cent of total global electricity production and six per cent of worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to the International Energy Agency.
South Africa would be able to electrify over four million homes with the electricity saved from phasing-out incandescent lamps.
South Africa will also become the first African country to phase-out incandescent lamps following an integrated approach, including the development of collection and recycling systems. Beginning in January 2012, the country fully supports the 2016 global deadline for the phase-out of inefficient lamps and will complete the phase-out by 2016.
“South Africa is working with UNEP and its Global Partnership to share these lessons learned with other African countries willing to phase-out and reap the benefits that a transition would bring,” said Duipo Peters, South Africa’s Minister of Energy.
“We encourage all countries that have not yet phased-out inefficient lighting to join the UNEP Global Partnership and work with us to move towards an efficient lighting world to mitigate climate change,” she said
“South Africa faces important power shortages which will be greatly mitigated by the phase-out of incandescent lamps. The electricity saved by the phase-out will be directed to more pressing social needs. South Africa is committed to mitigating climate change. This measure is a key action to reduce CO2 emissions,” she added.
Over 25 developing countries from four continents have joined the Global Efficient Lighting Partnership Program which has been established to support countries to design and implement national inefficient lighting phase-out strategies adapted to specific country conditions and requirements.
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director said “if a global temperature rise is to be kept under 2 degrees C, we need to act on multiple fronts, including voluntary and legally binding actions. Fast tracking more energy-efficient lighting is without doubt one of the low hanging fruit offering not only emissions saving but cost savings to a company or a household’s budget.
This UNEP/GEF Global Partnership is about switching off old bulbs and switching on a path to a more low-carbon, resource-efficient green economy. The aim of achieving a global phase-out by 2016 is not only possible but infinitely do-able.”
The initiative was launched in September 2009 as a globally coordinated effort to accelerate the transition to efficient lighting and mitigate climate change. It is a partnership between UNEP, GEF, and private sector partners Osram AG, Philips Lighting and the National Lighting Test Centre of China (NLTC).