If energy needs to be saved, there are good ways to do it.
                                                               Government product regulation is not one of them

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Philips, Osram, the UN, World Bank and EU:
How we will en.lighten the World in 2012

Extensively edited August 8

How manufacturers,
who of course themselves could voluntarily choose to stop making the cheap unprofitable incandescents they keep saying are "bad for the planet",
instead seek to invoke international cooperation in replacements and regulations, the real aim being to cut down any competition from local upstarts who might want to make the simple popular and locally more easily made incandescent bulbs

The United Nations (via UNEP) cooperation agreement with Philips and Osram, the en.lighten initiative which was agreed in 2009, is now set to "change the world" in 2012, having gradually built up funding to be able to launch a comprehensive worldwide lighting conversion programme.

The following looks at it with edited extracts from the Philips and Osram CEO presentation.

A  Global  Transition  to  Efficient  Lighting

Rudy Provoost, CEO of Philips Lighting
Martin Goetzeler, CEO of OSRAM
Darth Vader, CEO of Death Star
(there may or may not be an odd one out)

Private sector and the UN in partnership to en.lighten the world.

The UNEP en.lighten initiative was created as a partnership between UNEP, Philips Lighting and OSRAM, with support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) [more on GEF follows].
The initiative addresses the challenge of accelerating global market transformation to environmentally sustainable lighting technologies by developing a global strategy in support of the gradual phase-out of inefficient lighting.

• the development of a global policy strategy to gradually eliminate inefficient and obsolete lighting products;
• the promotion of high performance and efficient lighting technologies in developing and emerging nations;
• the substitution of traditional fuel-based lighting with efficient alternatives.

The en.lighten initiative has created global taskforces where international experts from developing, emerging and developed countries and sectors are working on a global approach to phase out inefficient incandescent lamps.

Market forces are not sufficient to achieve the rapid transformation needed in the lighting market to respond to the climate change challenge.
Instead, a multi-stakeholder global partnership is required to support countries as they embark upon efficient lighting transformation programmes.

As two of the biggest lighting manufacturers in the world,
we have chosen to focus our efforts on transforming the lighting market in partnership with UNEP through its en.lighten initiative.
With its unparalleled global network, UNEP can provide leadership by inspiring and enabling nations to prioritise efficient lighting and reap the benefits of lowered energy costs.

An "Efficient Lighting Toolkit" for governments worldwide will be available in early 2012.
It will provide "comprehensive guidance on how to transform their markets to efficient lighting".

They also invite partners to participate - lots of saving consultancy schemes are offered, with an invitation to contact the en.lighten secretariat.

A footer confirms that "The en.lighten initiative is a partnership supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), OSRAM AG, Philips Lighting and the National Lighting Test Centre, China (NLTC)".

The National Lighting Test Centre, China (NLTC),
has over the years "built professional relationships with its wide range of international and domestic clients, providing them with tailor-made solutions for either purchase from or entrance into the Chinese lighting market."

The Global Environment Facility (GEF),
is yet another funding facility bailing out manufacturers who can't sell (or can't be bothered to market and sell) their expensive wares on the open market...
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) unites 182 member governments — in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector — to address global environmental issues.
Established in 1991, the GEF is today the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment
The author Jeffrey Sachs in his book CommonWealth describes the World Bank association with the GEF in making it the world's largest environmental fund facility.
As seen from the above link it also involves the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and many other financing institutions.

The extensive activities of UNEP and the GEF, in spreading the New Lighting Gospel around the world with Philips and Osram, is further covered on the Ceolas website (http://ceolas.net/#unep and onwards).


So, a big pay-off to Philips and Osram from the World Bank to offload otherwise unwanted expensive patented fluorescent or LED bulbs on developing countries.

Somewhat (though only somewhat) tongue-in-cheek one might ask, why not ban cheap well known generic penicillin too - allowing the offloading of expensive patented less well known drugs on Africans and others?

Light bulb manufacturers have a long and dark history in seeking to avoid fair competition on open free markets, beginning with the Phoebus Cartel in the 1920's, continuing up to the present day lobbying for bans on patent expired unprofitable generic regular bulbs, and indeed now this subsidised product dumping.

See http://ceolas.net/#li1ax onwards with article references, documentation, and copies of official communications.

Any doubting casual observer can of course just ask themselves:

Why welcome "being able" to stop the manufacture of incandescents?
If it's "so great" to stop making incandescents, and make other light bulbs instead:
Why don't the manufacturers just stop it themselves then?

After all, the major light bulb manufacturers have a history of getting together and setting their own product-limiting manufacturing standards.

The mentioned Phoebus Cartel was all about setting a common 1000 hour lifespan standard, so that the manufacturers could sell more profitable (shorter lasting) bulbs on the world market they carved up between themselves.

1000 hours is still the regular incandescent "benchmark" lifespan standard.

So manufacturers could again cooperate, openly or not, on standards that eliminate the incandescents.
But, of course, they would again want to to make sure that noone else makes those bulbs, that would lose them sales and profits...

With the Phoebus cartel, the times were easier, with more readily controlled markets, and a special "1000 hour life committee" as discovered by recent referenced research, effectively oversaw both membership compliance and the blocking of outside manufacturers to market access.

How wonderful therefore, when naive politicians step into the breach, this time handing the major manufacturers the markets on a plate, by banning anyone else from making the cheap but relatively unprofitable bulbs:
Stopping small local outfits who might not be able to get the bigger profits from the more complex and harder to manufacture bulbs, but can still do good business on simple if less profitable bulb varieties.
Thereby the green rebound irony, of prohibiting simple cheap safe locally made locally transported products!.

The American side in the development of the 2007 US EISA legislation, was not least illustrated in the previously posted review of the 2011 eBook "I, Light Bulb: A Death Row Testimonial" by Leahy and Brandston, the latter directly involved in consultation and hearings:
Notice in particular the described GE and NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) involvement in the 2007 legislation.

As for the European 2009 EU legislation, the EU Ban Story also covers the European Lamp Companies Federation (ELC) and their openly admitted lobbying activities.

ELC Board: Philips Lighting: Mr Jan Denneman (President) Osram GmbH: Mr Wolfgang Gregor (Vice President) GE: Mr Tony Everett (Treasurer).

"What are our objectives?"
[To provide consumers with good lighting they want to buy? No...]
"To promote efficient lighting practice for the benefit of the global environment, human comfort and the health and safety of consumers.
To monitor, advise and co-operate with legislative bodies in developing European Directives and Regulations of relevance to the European lamp industry.
To act as the key discussion partner for the European Union (EU)

Philips is the worlds largest lighting manufacturer.
Osram is the second largest.
Both are headquartered in Europe.

How they have participated not just in cartel market rigging, but have also benefited from a direct involvement in the specifications set by the EU Commission Ecodesign division, is also covered via the above link.
EU specifications, unlike North American or Australian counterparts, also have direct CFL purchase inducements, such as the immediate 2009 ban of all non-clear incandescents (including halogens) on the basis that "people can buy the CFLs instead".

Scottish lighting designer Kevan Shaw is actively involved as a "stakeholder" in EU regulations. As he says, and which subsequently is being covered in the media, the EU is now likely to ban low voltage halogens too.

Philips have just reported falling light bulb profits. So perhaps more "help" for them is on the way.
Further reading: EU: "The Unholy Alliance between Philips and the Greens" by a Dutch scientist and a Dutch research journalist.
USA: Philips lobbying federally and for LED Prize

Other sources on lobbying have come to light in recent years...

Susanne Hammarström of Sweden was head of the Brussels based PR agency Diplomat-PR engaged in the lobbying on behalf of the light bulb manufacturers.
Translated from the largest Swedish business paper, Dagens Industri:

"The ban would never have happened, without the large and extensive lobby campaign, in all member countries, as well as towards The European Commission and the media", Susanne Hammarström says.
She believes that a voluntary switchover to energy saving lamps would have been the preferred policy, without the systematic lobbying work.

See the industry policy section of the 14 point rundown linked below.

How Regulations are Wrongly Justified
14 points, referenced:
Includes why the overall society savings aren't there, and even if they were, why alternative policies are better, including alternative policies that target light bulbs.

1 comment:

spencer said...

The lobbying by US light bulb manufacturers is even worse?

Washington Examiner
How many Lobbyists does it take to change a Light Bulb