Accelerating the transition to energy-efficient products was the focus of a United for Efficiency event held on the margins of the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany on 15 November.
The objective of the high-level event was to highlight the important role energy-efficient products such as air conditioners and refrigerators have in delivering on the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment led off the event, which featured senior government officials, top business executives, and civil society leaders.
”40% of the Paris Agreement can be achieved through energy efficiency,” said Solheim in his opening remarks.
Throughout the day, speakers highlighted the multiple benefits of energy efficiency and progress on policies and programmes that are being implemented in developing and emerging economies around the world. In these countries, most of the older products in use, and many new products sold today, waste a large amount of electricity. This leaves less money for residents, businesses, and governments to spend on other priorities.
“Energy efficiency helps in bringing down costs for the consumer,” said Kudakwashe Ndhlukula, Executive Director of the Southern African Development Community’s Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.
“LED lighting could save developing countries $40 billion annually,“ said Jake Schmidt, Director of the International Program of Natural Resources Defense Council.
Many speakers also stressed how important it is for governments, industry, and civil society organisations to work together to go further, faster.
“The lighting industry is a leader in efficiency with standards that are very easy to understand and follow. Industry – particularly looking at transformers – is still a long way away. Partnerships and collaboration with organisations such as United for Efficiency are so important. They are making a big impact to setting standards and influencing regulation and policy,” said Tobias Becker, Senior Vice President and Head of Africa Programme of ABB.
Various speakers also drew attention to the series of policy guides providing practical advice to policymakers on transforming their markets to energy-efficient lighting, air conditioners, electric motors, distribution transformers and refrigerators, which the members of the United for Efficiency Initiative have recently developed together.
During COP23, Erik Solheim together with Hakan Bulgurlu, Chief Executive Officer of Arçelik A.S., and Egel Larsson Grossman, Chief Executive Officer of Mabe, also issued a joint statement focusing on how the United for Efficiency initiative is accelerating much-needed support to governments to adopt impactful and cost-effective policies.
“A global transition to climate-friendly appliances will make it possible for citizens around the world to enjoy the benefits of refrigerators and air conditioners while reducing their impact on the climate. It’s time to cut the vicious cycle, and ensure that while we need to stay cool, so too does our planet,” said the authors.
View photos from the event here and download the event’s presentations:
- Orsola Irene Mautone Policy Officer Directorate General for Energy, European Commission (Download the presentation)
- Philipp Munzinger Project Manager GIZ Proklima (Download the presentation)
- Maarten van Werkhoven Operating Agent for the IEA 4E Motor Systems Annex International Energy Agency (Download the presentation)