The official presentation of Urban Lighting Energy Efficiency Pilot Program took place in Yerevan

The official ceremony of Urban Lighting Energy Efficiency Pilot Programtook place at the conference hall of UnitedNations Office in Armenia, Yerevan within the frameworks of “Earth Hour” annual environmental event. Almost 500 new energy efficient LEDs (light emitting diodes) have been installed along Isakov Avenue and Tairov Street, joining Yerevan city center to Zvartnots international airport providing lighting ensuring the corresponding highway requirements of lights within the framework of the project.  The installation of the new system provides energy savings of 63 percent, reduction of costs by USD 45,000, and carbon emissions by 220 tons in annual terms. Lighting energy efficiency works have been carried out under the coordination of Nature Protection Ministry within the frames of UNDP-GEF “Green Urban Lighting” project /UNDP-GEF /00074869/ in line with the memorandum signed with Yerevan Municipality. Aramayis Grigoryan, Minister of Nature Protection, Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia and Kamo Areyan, First Deputy Mayor of Yerevan, delivered opening speeches. Representatives of departments responsible for urban and municipal development, energy security sector, as well as diplomatic corps.  Minister of Nature Protection Aramayis Grigoryan, greeting the guests, mentioned that the launched environmental event is the result of perspectival cooperation with local self-government bodies, enabling to assess energy efficiency as an environmental issue. “Yerevan city and, in particular, its lighting system, has a large share of energy consumption in the country, that is why Yerevan municipality was selected as the main partner of the ‘Green Urban Lighting’ project, implemented under the coordination of the Ministry of Nature Protection. To highlight all the advantages of the energy efficient street lighting system, Yerevan city center to Zvartnots international airport was selected as a principal area being of significance”. The Minister stated that the pilot project presentation is timed towards “Earth Hour” annual environmental event, as they would like to highlight the importance of environmental impact of energy efficiency related projects. “The Earth Hour” symbolizes our responsibility towards the future generations”. He assured that the Ministry of Nature Protection, attaching high importance to the issue of climate change, is consistently contributing, as well as coordinating all the processes ongoing in the country that are directed to the global efforts to mitigate climate change. Bradley Busetto UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia in his opening speech highlighted the fact of achieving greater energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy which is crucial for Armenia and for its future energy security.” A low carbon route to development is an ambi­tious but achievable goal for Armenia, which is becoming increasingly available parallel to the rapid advancement of innovative technologies. UNDP considers this project strategically essential for the country, since Armenia has an immense potential for development of energy efficient technologies. Though this successful joint project, even on a small scale, defines new standards for energy efficient lighting, and we will work with the RA Government and donor community to extend this productive project”. UNDP implements a similar project in the city of Alaverdi. Additionally, Yerevan Zoo is envisaged to be provided with a new energy efficient lighting system. Lighting is the second largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Armenia (after heating), comprises approximately one third of municipalities’ GHG emissions and up to 50 percent of their electricity expenses. Yerevan is the most significant consumer of lighting and consumes about 90 percent of all urban lighting energy. Kamo Areyan, First deputy Mayor of Yerevan, expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Nature Protection and UNDP Armenia for the fruitful cooperation and involvement of the capital city in the project. “Yerevan is the largest energy consumer in the urban lighting sector in the country and bears its major responsibility for efficient resource management and emission reduction. Having the aim to encourage “the green economy development” and improve the wellbeing of the city residents, Yerevan has joined the EU ‘Covenant of Mayors’ initiative. Covenant signatories aim to meet and exceed the 20 percent CO2 reduction objective by 2020”. Everybody should be conscious of the significance of human impact on environment and willing to partake in addressing environmental issues.  The ceremony was organized towards “Earth Hour,” an internationally recognized “lights-off event,” held annually on the last Saturday in March at 20:30-21:30 turning off lights or one hour having responsibilities for the earth.