Demand world leaders #EndToxicLighting by banning toxic, mercury-containing lighting products!

At the upcoming Minamata Convention on Mercury COP4 on 21 March 2022, 137 countries representing more than 6 billion people will vote on a proposal to phase out fluorescent lighting which contains mercury. 

If adopted, the amendment, introduced by the African region, would avoid 3.5 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions, while simultaneously eliminating 232 tonnes of mercury pollution and reducing global electricity use by 3% between 2025-2050. 

Send a clear message now and support the accelerated transition to more energy-efficient, cost-effective and mercury free LED lighting!

Over a hundred civil society organisations sent an open letter to Minamata COP4 President and other world leaders demanding they urgently commit to the end the manufacture, import and export of mercury-containing fluorescent lighting. 

Petition Background Information

Climate change threatens billions of lives every year. Famine, droughts, floods, fires, typhoons and melting ice caps have created a reality the world is struggling to adapt to. We must do everything in our power to avoid reaching 1.5 C if we hope to leave a world habitable for future generations. 

This year, the world has a unique opportunity to eliminate 3.5 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions by ending the manufacture, sale and export of mercury-containing fluorescent lighting products. 

On March 21, 137 countries will meet at the United Nations Minamata Convention on Mercury fourth Conference of Parties (COP4) to vote on an amendment proposed by the African region to end exemptions for toxic, mercury-containing fluorescents. If adopted, the amendment would accelerate the global transition to mercury-free, superefficient LED lighting.

As lighting markets in wealthy countries shift to clean LED lighting, less-regulated markets may experience “environmental dumping” of old fluorescent technologies. Many countries in the global North have passed or are considering policies that will ban the sale of mercury-laden, inefficient lighting products in their domestic markets. However, they would still allow domestic manufacture and export to less developed and emerging markets. 

The import of fluorescents puts the public and environmental health of those countries at unnecessary risk. The cumulative (2025-2050) global benefits of the African Lighting Amendment would be significant:

Transitioning to clean, energy-efficient LED lighting will lower the energy burden on increasingly strained national grids and ensure that people, regardless of nationality, have access to safe, toxic chemical-free lighting technologies while also making significant savings on their electricity bills.

We therefore demand that the 137 governments represented at the upcoming Minamata Convention COP4 support the African Lighting Amendment and #EndToxicLighting. Transitioning to cost-effective, toxics-free and energy-efficient lighting technologies is the lowest of low-hanging fruit in the fight against climate change. Together we can accelerate the transition to LED lighting to benefit both people and the planet.

 

OPEN LETTER TO HEADS OF DELEGATION TO THE MINAMATA CONVENTION COP4

(Read the letter in SpanishPortugueseFrench, and Japanese)

The fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-4) – Second segment – must deliver on its mission to Make Mercury History and phase-out toxic mercury-containing fluorescent lighting.  

COP4 President Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, COP4 Vice Presidents and Heads of Delegations,  

We, organisations from across the world, spanning a broad range of institutions and movements, from environmental and chemical organisations, public health advocates, youth groups, private sector and climate justice groups, call on you to ensure that COP4 delivers on its mission to Make Mercury History and phase out toxic mercury-containing fluorescent lighting.  

Chemical pollution from man-made products and processes is contributing to the ongoing damages to our dwindling natural resources, putting human and environmental health at risk. Climate change threatens billions of lives every year. Famine, droughts, floods, fires, typhoons and melting ice caps have created a reality the world is struggling to adapt to. We must do everything in our power to avoid reaching 1.5 C if we hope to leave a world habitable for future generations.  

On March 21, the world has a unique opportunity to remove 3.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, while simultaneously eliminating 232 tonnes of mercury pollution from the environment by ending the manufacture, sale and export of mercury-containing fluorescent lighting products.  

The 137 countries you represent will meet at the United Nations Minamata Convention on Mercury fourth Conference of Parties (COP4) to vote on the amendment, under Annex A, proposed by the African region to end exemptions for toxic, mercury-containing fluorescents. The amendment aims to accelerate the global transition to mercury-free, superefficient and safe LED lighting.

The cumulative (2025-2050) global benefits of adopting this African Lighting Amendment would be significant: 

  1. Eliminate 232 tonnes of mercury pollution from the environment, both from the light bulbs themselves and from avoided mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants; 
  2. Reduce global electricity use by 3%; 
  3. Avoid 3.5 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions; equivalent to removing all passenger cars globally from the road for a whole year; and 
  4. Save US$1 trillion on electricity bills. 

As wealthy countries shift to clean LED lighting, less-regulated markets may experience “environmental dumping” of old fluorescent technologies. Many countries in the global North have passed or are considering regulations that will ban the sale of mercury-laden, inefficient lighting products in their domestic markets. However, they would still allow their domestic manufacture and export to less developed and emerging markets.  The import of fluorescents places the public and environmental health of those countries at unnecessary risk.

In contrast, transitioning to clean, energy-efficient LED lighting will lower the energy burden on increasingly strained national grids and ensure that people, regardless of nationality, have access to safe, toxic chemical-free lighting technologies while also making significant savings on their electricity bills. 

We therefore demand that the 137 governments you represent at the upcoming COP4 vote in favor of the African Lighting Amendment and end exemptions for mercury in fluorescent lighting. Transitioning to cost-effective, toxics-free and energy-efficient LED lighting technologies is the lowest of low-hanging fruit in the fight against climate change and mercury pollution.  

The African Lighting Amendment

Sincerely, 

  • 1.  350.org Japan
  • 2.  4D energy
  • 3.  AbibiNsroma Foundation
  • 4.  Active Citizenship Foundation (ACF)
  • 5.  Adarsha Samajik Progoti Sangstha (ASPS)
  • 6.  Africa Climate and Health Alliance
  • 7.  Africa Sustanable Energy Assocation
  • 8.  Africa Susutainable Energy Assocation
  • 9.  African Coalition on Green Growth
  • 10. Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH)
  • 11. Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, Pakistan (APBSP)
  • 12. Agency of Consultancy for Training (ACT)
  • 13. Air University, Islamabad
  • 14. Alliance for Future Generations, Fiji
  • 15. Alternative Energy Promotion Centre
  • 16. AME Itapeva – OSS Santa Casa de Andradina
  • 17. Appliance Standards Awareness Project
  • 18. Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment
  • 19. Associação Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento do Edifício Hospitalar (ABDEH)
  • 20. Associação Congregação de Santa Catarina – Rede Santa Catarina
  • 21. Association OF Energy Efficiency Engineers  (AEEE)
  • 22. Bio Vision Africa (BiVA)
  • 23. Bond
  • 24. Borg & Co AB
  • 25. Brazilian Federation of Hospital Administrators – FBAH
  • 26. Buro of Standards, Suriname
  • 27. CAN Latin America (CANLA)
  • 28. CAN South Asia
  • 29. CarbonCare InnoLab
  • 30. CENICA
  • 31. Center for Community Health and Injury Prevention (CCHIP)
  • 32. Center for Energy, Ecology and Development Inc.
  • 33. Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology
  • 34. Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology
  • 35. Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking Inc.
  • 36. Centre for Climatology and Applied Research
  • 37. Centro de Análises Clínicas da Zona Leste – SP
  • 38. CERISEN
  • 39. Children’s Environmental Health Foundation
  • 40. Children’s Environmental Health Network
  • 41. Citizens’ Climate International
  • 42. Citizens’ Institute for Environmental Studies
  • 43. CLASP
  • 44. Clean Water Action
  • 45. CLiC
  • 46. CLIMALAB
  • 47. Climate Action for Lifelong Learners (CALL)
  • 48. Climate Action Moreland
  • 49. Climate Action Network – International
  • 50. Climate Action Network Southeast Asia
  • 51. Climate Action Network UK (CAN-UK)
  • 52. Climate Trace
  • 53. Cloud West Pvt Ltd
  • 54. College of Earth and Environmental Science
  • 55. Comision Nacional Para El Uso Eficiente De La Energia
  • 56. Community Action for Healing Poverty Organization
  • 57. Community Initiatives for Development in Pakistan (CIDP)
  • 58. Complexo Hospital de Clínicas/UFPR
  • 59. COMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore campus
  • 60. CPPA
  • 61. Creation Justice Church of Immaculate Conception
  • 62. Creative Innovations
  • 63. Dept. of Geography, University of Toronto
  • 64. DION (Small Island Developing States)
  • 65. Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality
  • 66. DLC
  • 67. Dynamic Renewables
  • 68. ECOCITY
  • 69. Ecology Center
  • 70. EcoWaste Coalition
  • 71. EdikanMan Foundation.com
  • 72. Emmaus International
  • 73. Envirogreen Trainings & Consulting
  • 74. Environment and Social Development Organization
  • 75. Environment Governed Integrated Organisation (EnGIO)
  • 76. Environmental Design Solutions [EDS]
  • 77. Environmental Protection Society Malaysia
  • 78. Espire Consult
  • 79. European Environmental Bureau
  • 80. Fatima Jinnah Women University
  • 81. Foundation for ASM Development (FADev)
  • 82. Future Generations Afghanistan (FGA)
  • 83. Ghana
  • 84. Gilgit-Baltistan Environmental pPotection Agency
  • 85. Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC)
  • 86. Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP)
  • 87. Graduate Assitant
  • 88. Green Economy Investments
  • 89. Guides Group
  • 90. Health Care Without Harm SE Asia
  • 91. Health Hospitals Project
  • 92. Hinckley Nigeria
  • 93. Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu
  • 94. Hospital de Clínicas Nossa Senhora da Conceição
  • 95. Hospital do Rocio
  • 96. Hospital Estadual Américo Brasiliense
  • 97. Hospital Pequeno Príncipe
  • 98. Hospital SAMUR
  • 99. Hospital UNIMEC
  • 100. Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe (IWO e.V.)
  • 101. Ian Byrne Energy and Carbon Consultancy Services (IBECCS)
  • 102. iGreen
  • 103. Indus Consortium Pakistan
  • 104. Institut für Angewandte Ökologie e.V.
  • 105. Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy (IEECP)
  • 106. International Energy Initiative – IEI Brasil
  • 107. International Institute of Energy Conservation (IIEC)
  • 108. ISR – University of Coimbra 
  • 109. Karakoram International University Gilgit
  • 110. Karlstads University
  • 111. Khalifa University
  • 112. Kiko Network
  • 113. Klean NRG
  • 114. Klima Action Malaysia (KAMY)
  • 115. KytherTek
  • 116. Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore
  • 117. Lancerhop
  • 118. LEDARS
  • 119. LEDARS-Local Environment Development and Agricultural Research Society
  • 120. LEDWise
  • 121. Light Kinetics
  • 122. Living Laudato Si’ Philippines
  • 123. Mahmood Group
  • 124. Malaysian Youth Delegation
  • 125. Mercury Policy Project
  • 126. Mesa Airlines
  • 127. MHA Engenharia LTDA
  • 128. Nagkakaisang Lakas ng mga Mangangalakal sa Longos
  • 129. National Highway Authority
  • 130. National Stewardship Action Council
  • 131. Next Energy Consumer
  • 132. Nexus3 Foundation
  • 133. NFEH
  • 134. Niyel
  • 135. Numl
  • 136. NUST
  • 137. Oretronics
  • 138. Pak Mission Society – PMS
  • 139. Pakistan Eye Bank Society
  • 140. Participatory Research & Action Network – PRAAN
  • 141. Phynatura A.C.
  • 142. Policy Research Institute for Equitable Development (PRIED)
  • 143. Politecnico di Milano, eERG
  • 144. Pro-Biodiversity Conservationists in Uganda
  • 145. Rede D’Or São Luiz SA
  • 146. Responsible Purchasing Network
  • 147. Sahasra Electronics (Rwanda)
  • 148. Samahan ng mga Mangangalakal sa Bagong Silang
  • 149. Samahan ng mga Mangangalakal sa Capulong
  • 150. Samahan ng mga Mangangalakal sa San Vicente Ferrer Camarin Caloocan City
  • 151. Santa Casa de Misericórdia da Bahia
  • 152. Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Passos
  • 153. Savenda
  • 154. SDPI
  • 155. Social Economic Development Society [SEDS]
  • 156. Sociedad Amigos del Viento Meteorología Ambiente Desarrollo
  • 157. Society for Sustainable Development
  • 158. Solar Universal Network (SMC-PVT) Limited
  • 159. SONGSHOPTAQUE, Bangladesh
  • 160. Southern Africa Climate Change Coalition
  • 161. Southern Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance(Board Chairperson)
  • 162. SPDM
  • 163. Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
  • 164. Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF)
  • 165. Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad
  • 166. Sustainable Environment Development Initiative
  • 167. Sustainable Green Solutions Pvt Ltd
  • 168. Sustainable Hospital Center of the Clinical Hospital of the Botucatu Medical School (HCFMB) 
  • 169. Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development
  • 170. Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADeV Nigeria)
  • 171. Sustentabilidad Sin Fronteras
  • 172. Tearfund
  • 173. Toxisphera Environmental Health Association
  • 174. Tres Be
  • 175. University of Engineering & Technology Peshawar
  • 176. University of Engineering and Technology Taxilaa
  • 177. University of Lahore
  • 178. University of Punjab
  • 179. Vanuatu Climate Action Network
  • 180. Velvet Bricks
  • 181. Vermont Public Interest Research Group
  • 182. Women Defend Commons Network
  • 183. Women Development Program
  • 184. Women University Multan
  • 185. Young Shapers
  • 186. Youth Association for Development (YAD) Pakistan
  • 187. Youth Hub Africa
  • 188. ZERO – Association for the Sustainability of the Earth System
  • 189. Zimbabwe Climate Change Coalition

 

Resources

Mercury-Free Lighting Report

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Social Media Pack (including sample posts/tweets and graphics to download)

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