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Christmas lights switched off – A real impact?

๐ŸŽถ ๐€๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐‚๐ก๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ… ๐“๐‘๐”๐“๐‡! ๐ŸŽ„

And that’s what we got with Belgian televisionย RTBFย andย Marie-Laure Mathotย about the topical debate on whether cities should switch off Christmas lights to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Interviewed on this topic, our COO Frรฉdรฉric John stressed that “beyond the symbolic effort, the impact is minor compared to other sources of CO2 emissions a City can emit.”

For example, the Belgian city of Liรจge (200k residents) is expected to emit the equivalent of 6 tCO2 to power Christmas lights. Is it a lot? At an individual level, yes. But at the scale of a City, it is not.

To compare, 6 tCO2 is equivalent to a compact petrol car driven for 30k km. City of Liรจge operates 440 vehicles. Hence, reducing the fleet by <0,3% would offset all emissions from these festive lights.

Most of the time, actions to reduce emissions efficiently are hidden and sometimes require uncomfortable changes.
But it always starts by measuring the big picture with a CO2 inventory to make the right decisions.
Christmas lighting is a perfect example of organisations taking blindly inefficient actions to reduce emissions without metrics.

The article is available here.