The Climate Group, which works with business and governments on moving to a low-carbon economy, has urged every city and utility globally to schedule the switch to low-energy LED technology for street lighting by 2025.
The move could deliver energy savings of 50-70 per cent on current lighting, the group said.
The organisation, which is hosting Climate Week in New York, is also launching a global campaign “LED = Lower Emissions Delivered”, urging local governments, cities and utilities to take advantage of the cost and carbon benefits of LEDs.
The Climate Group pointed to Los Angeles, which has installed 140,000 LED street lights, with energy savings of more than 60 per cent and financial savings of $8.7 million (£5.7 million) a year.
Switching all outdoor and indoor lighting to LEDs could cut global electricity demand for lighting by more than a half and avoid 735 million tonnes of CO2 a year, the equivalent of the entire emissions of the UK and Spain.