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Quest to Remove Barriers to LED Uptake in Cities Launched at Davos

LED  streetlight in city ParkA consultation process has been launched at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos this week to identify and address barriers to the adoption of low carbon LED (light-emitting diodes) street lighting in cities.

Announced at the Future of Urban Development session by The Climate Group, with its network of member cities, states & regions, in association with lighting company Philips, the consultation process will focus on identifying practical solutions and addressing specific geographical challenges.

It will examine topics such as the benefits of LEDs, new approaches to LED financing, risk allocation, intelligent and smart lighting, future-proofing, standards, quality thresholds, and related socio-economic benefits from LED lighting.

"The urgency to combat climate change, and the potential of energy efficient LED lighting to help tackle this has been recognized," said Harry Verhaar, Global Head of Public Affairs at Philips Lighting.

"We are excited about partnering with The Climate Group and their sub-national membership to identify and remove the hurdles to the accelerated adoption of LED lighting, that delivers environmental and economic benefits for cities through massive energy savings, and helps improve the quality of life of their citizens."

In its 2012 report, Lighting the Clean Revolution: The rise of LEDs and what it means for cities, The Climate Group, supported by Philips, reported that following a global trial across 12 cities LED street lighting could generate energy savings as high as 85%, making a significant impact in the 19% of global energy consumed by lighting.

As we reported on Wednesday, many cities in Europe are already seeing the light, but many more are yet to follow.

As governments look to make significant emission reductions in the lead up to and following the new international climate agreement in 2015 this consultation will produce a procurement guidance report for subnational government and city leaders at the end of 2014. 

In addition to reducing emissions and energy use, the Lighting the Clean Revolution report also highlighted significant social benefits to the use of LED street lighting.

LED  streetlight in city ParkSurveys conducted with residents indicated that citizens preferred LED lighting, with 68% to 90% of respondents endorsing city-wide rollout of the technology. Amongst the benefits that were highlighted in these surveys were a greater sense of safety and improved visibility.

Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, said: "The monetary and civil benefits of LEDs are clear; they will save our cities money and create safer environments to live and work in. We now need to scale up the use of energy efficient lighting across our cities. At Rio+20 in June 2012, I called for a global acceleration of large scale low carbon lighting. I want to see all new public lighting – both street lighting and in public buildings – to be LED (or as efficient) by 2015 and I am pleased to be working a global leader like Philips to achieve this."

The consultation process will run from the beginning of 2014 until the autumn and sessions with cities, states and regions, and a broad range of LED lighting stakeholders are planned across the globe including Brazil, China (Hong Kong and Beijing), Europe, the Gulf Region, India and the US. 

If you would like to learn more about the consultation process, contact Dr Ben Ferrari, Director of Partnerships, The Climate Group at [email protected]

Founded 10 years ago in 2004, The Climate Group is an award-winning, not-for-profit leadership organisation. It represents an alliance of forward-thinking government and business leaders and public figures from around the world, including China, the US, India and Europe.