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Noah Long’s Blog

A light on the horizon in Mexico

Noah Long

Posted November 22, 2010 in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming

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As Mexico prepares to host the next round of climate negotiations, attention has turned to national and local commitments to reduce climate-disrupting pollution.  Mexico set a bright example this fall by proposing new energy efficiency standards for light bulbs.  These standards will cover both today’s everyday screw-based light bulbs and the linear fluorescent or tube lamps. Once enacted, the proposed rule will place Mexico in a growing group of nations that are raising the bar for lighting efficiency, including the United States, Canada, Australia, the European Union and others. 

Lighting energy efficiency standards save people billions of dollars, reduce the need for costly power plants and prevent millions of tons of air pollution emissions, including carbon dioxide, the main heat trapping pollutant responsible for climate change.  Mexico’s proposed standard, like most other standards across the world would be phased in over a number of years though the money-saving products already exist to fit all lighting applications. 

NRDC’s work on lighting efficiency standards, including in Mexico, is focused on two major objectives.

  • Every standard for screw-based lamps should achieve the 70+ percent savings available from current lighting technology.  Mexico’s proposed standard meets this goal and establishes Mexico as a world leader in lighting efficiency.
  • Standards have to be carefully drafted to avoid loopholes and include quality control requirements.  We need to make sure the new energy efficient light bulbs not only save energy but also perform well and last as long as advertised. 

Mexico should work to quickly adopt a full and effective lighting efficiency standard.  When it does, it will be a model for lighting efficiency in Latin America, and will be a big step towards confronting a global climate disaster.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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