NEW YORK – A light bulb may not be the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about revolutionary technology. Yet science and smart policy have the potential in today’s world to transform an ordinary household object into a revolutionary innovation.
Recently, I visited an ambitious project to promote energy-saving lighting in China. By phasing out old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs and introducing a new generation of lighting, China expects to cut national energy consumption by 8%.
This can have a profound global impact. Consider this: lighting accounts for 19% of world energy consumption. Scientists say we can reduce that by a third or more merely by changing light bulbs.
A breakthrough like this highlights one of the many ways in which ordinary people and businesses can reduce energy use and cut greenhouse gases. It underscores the essential role that governments can – and must – play in promoting the green economy. And it highlights the special responsibility of the government of China to lead in the global fight against climate change.