Yep, you read that right! This finding is the result of research performed by the lighting manufacturer Philips and was presented at the Paris climate conference at the end of 2015. By now, some of these potential savings have already been realised, since the market for LEDs is growing at a rapid pace with more of them being installed every day. At the same time, the market is ever growing due to the world economy growing as well, so the total potential savings are also increasing.
Source: As seen below the chart via ThinkProgress
Lighting is responsible for 19% of global electricity consumption which in turn causes 6% of all human made CO₂ emissions. The contribution to the world’s total emissions of 36 billion tons may seem small, but 1.4 billion tons are 1.4 billion tons. To put that in perspective, that’s about 20% more than Japan, or almost twice as much as Germany, just through the simple act of switching light bulbs (yeah I know it’s not always that easy but you get the point!).
To me, this is a reminder of how much energy and resources we could save just by using technology that already exists or has been existing for decades (like the german passivhaus housing standard for thermal insulation). LEDs may only save around 4% of global CO₂ emissions but that’s already a lot. Add potential – and already in the process of being realised – savings of electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy of course, thermal insulation of buildings, vertical farming, lab grown meat etc. and you get a world where everyone can live like a king while using far less resources than now.
Featured image courtesy of “304cina62” via Pixabay