Clinton Climate Initiative embraces LEDs

Nov. 22, 2007
An organization addressing climate change has created a purchasing consortium to increase the market demand for energy-efficient products including LED lighting.
The Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), an organization headed by former US President Bill Clinton, has unveiled various measures to help bring environmentally-friendly technologies to cities across the United States and around the world.

At the US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Summit in Seattle on November 1, 2007, President Clinton announced a partnership between the CCI and Wal-Mart, the giant retailer. The two organizations will explore ways to use their purchasing resources to lower prices on sustainable technologies such as energy-efficient building materials and systems, energy-efficient lighting and clean energy products (for more details, see the Wal-Mart press release).

One of the technologies the partnership will explore is energy-efficient, high-performance LED lights for parking lots and street lamps. By switching to LEDs, Wal-Mart estimates that cities could save 50 percent on street lamp energy consumption, while also reducing maintenance costs by 80 percent. Additional technologies to be explored may include interior LED lighting, variable-speed heating ventilation and air conditioning technology (HVAC) and solar power purchases.

"Climate change is a global issue that we must address immediately if we are to reverse its catastrophic effects," said President Clinton. "I am pleased that the US Conference of Mayors, Wal-Mart and many businesses are working with my foundation to supply energy efficient and clean energy products. By offering these products at a discounted rate, we can ensure that more cities and citizens have access to them and that the market for clean energy technology will grow. Together, I hope that we can have a measurable impact on greenhouse gas emissions around the world."

Focus on cities
The CCI is focusing on the role of cities in helping to reduce (or at least slow down the growth in) greenhouse gas emissions. Cities contribute approximately 75 percent of all heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere while comprising only 2 percent of land mass. The CCI has already formed the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, a group of 40 of the world's largest cities that are working to address the issues of climate change.

One of the prime strategies of the CCI is to pool the buying power of cities into a purchasing consortium and to work with manufacturers to bring down the prices of energy-efficient products and technologies via high-volume orders. At the Seattle conference, President Clinton announced that the CCI will extend its programs and purchasing consortium (previously comprising the C40 group) to include all 1,100 cities represented by the US Conference of Mayors.

Volume pricing discounts
Clinton also announced discounted pricing agreements with 25 manufacturers of energy-efficient products, including indoor lighting, clean vehicles, traffic and street lighting, building products, advanced waste management technologies, water system components and alternative energy technologies. Philips Lighting and Dialight both announced their involvement.

Dialight said that it will participate in CCI’s global Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit program, which will provide cities and their private building owners with access to the necessary funds to retrofit existing buildings with more energy-efficient products. Typically this could lead to energy savings between 20 to 50 percent.

"Solid state lighting can make a significant contribution to climate initiatives by reducing energy consumption over conventional light sources," said Roy Burton, Group Chief Executive of Dialight. "We believe the Clinton Climate Initiative will accelerate the adoption rate of this important technology on a global basis." Dialight's initial focus will be on traffic signals but will eventually include other solid-state lighting products.

As a result of the discount program, participating cities will have access to hundreds of individual products that reduce energy consumption in buildings, decrease fuel consumption and pollution by vehicles, and capture and convert landfill methane into electricity. These and additional products will be offered to interested municipal governments at discounted prices ranging from 5 to 15 percent below current levels for commodity items and from 15 to 70 percent below current levels for non-commodity items.

About the Clinton Climate Initiative
Building on his long-term commitment to preserving the environment, President Clinton launched the Clinton Foundation's Climate Initiative in August 2006 with the mission of applying the Foundation's business-oriented approach to the fight against climate change in practical, measurable, and significant ways.

In its first phase, CCI is working with the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group to accelerate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CCI team members have visited nearly all of these cities and are working with them to define projects and take action.

The C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group is comprised of the following cities: Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Caracas, Chicago, Delhi, Dhaka, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Houston, Istanbul, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Karachi, Lagos, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Manila, Melbourne, Mexico City, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Toronto, Tokyo, and Warsaw.