U4E and CLASP Build the Case for Energy Efficiency in Emerging Economies​

United 4 Efficiency (U4E) focuses primarily on developing and emerging economies, where electricity demand is set to more than double by 2030.

Lighting accounts for 15% of total electricity consumption and 5% total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and it is one of the first energy services that households acquire. Simultaneously, the number of AC units in use around the world is expected to nearly triple by 2050 as countries are getting hotter with climate change, standards of living increase, and demand for cooling rises.

When countries first develop energy efficiency standards and labelling programs, they tend to regulate lighting and cooling products first. These products improve people’s lives around the world, but also have major negative impacts on the climate, threaten a country’s energy security, and can negatively affect air quality. In many cases, however, policymakers in developing countries don’t have the resources to make a scientific or financial case for energy efficiency policy.

A collaborative global partnership, U4E supports developing countries and emerging economies as they begin regulating products through best practice guides, product research and analysis, and technical assistance to move markets toward energy efficient products. U4E resources provide foundational information on products with the highest energy savings potential.

A global transition to highly efficient products will make it possible for all of us to enjoy the benefits of increased income and energy access while minimizing impact on climate change.

CLASP, a founding member of U4E, worked closely with the NRDC, ICA, UNDP and other partners to produce technical assessments and product guides that help policymakers understand which key product policies will be most beneficial for their economy, and best practices to design and implement such programs. CLASP supported analysis and authorship on two main projects.

Country Assessments

The U4E Country Assessments show potential financial, environmental, energy, and societal benefits from a transition to energy efficient lighting, refrigerators, room air conditioners (AC), electric motors and distribution transformers. Policymakers and other stakeholders can use the country assessments to make the case for energy efficiency policy.

Beginning with Latin America in 2015, CLASP moved country-by-country calculating savings numbers for three of the five high-impact products – ACs, refrigerators, and motors – ultimately producing assessments for 150 countries. We learned, for example that Vietnam has the potential to save 1.6 Mt of CO₂ in 2030 by regulating refrigerators alone; and Mexico could avoid 2.9 Mt of CO₂ in 2030 by regulating just ACs.

Accelerating Global Adoption of Energy Efficient and Climate Friendly Air Conditioners

This AC policy guide is one of five first-of-their-kind product-specific guides to help policymakers understand the process of putting policies in place. The guide suggests a five-step policy approach of standards and regulations, supporting policies, finance and financial delivery mechanisms, monitoring, verification, and enforcement, and environmentally sound management to transform a national market towards more energy efficient and climate friendly ACs. CLASP worked collaboratively with U4E partners to convene international organizations, environmental groups, international manufacturers, government officials, and academic institutions to develop the AC guide.

Additional Materials

Links to all U4E country assessments


Sign up for the CLASP newsletter