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SOUTH Africa will phase out inefficient incandescent lighting by 2016.
This was announced at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban (COP17) yesterday.
“South Africa faces important power shortages, which will be greatly mitigated by the phasing out of incandescent lamps,” said energy minister Dipuo Peters.
“The electricity saved by the phase-out will be directed to more pressing social needs.”
South Africa will become the first African country to undertake such a phasing out.
The move is part of the global lighting initiative launched in 2009 by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) with the support of the Global Environment Facility in a partnership with private sector partners Osram AG, Philips Lighting and the National Lighting Test Centre of China.
“By 2016 the world will have left behind an anachronism,” said Achim Steiner, UNEP executive director.
“By 2016 we will have replaced incandescent inefficient light with energy-efficient lighting.
“The saving from phasing out inefficient light bulbs will enable the South African government to bring electricity to four million homes,” Steiner added.
UNEP said the phasing out of inefficient lighting is one of the most important and easy short-term initiatives that countries can implement to combat climate change and conserve financial resources in a time of global crisis.
Steiner acknowledged there was an issue around price.
While the new light bulbs last far longer than incandescent bulbs, they are more expensive.
Steiner said there are ways of addressing this.
“Governments can bring down the price at the early in-phase” through subsidies, he added.