Many of us are fortunate to have a say in the climate debate. We can choose to stop eating meat, we can offset our carbon when feeling bad about taking a flight or we can choose who supplies our electricity. There are many things we can do to fight for this planet.
For the 548 million living without electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, there is not this choice. Every alternative is damaging for the environment.
A family using a kerosene lamp are essentially burning oil in their own home. One kerosene lamp emits 370kg of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere every single year. This is over one tonne in three years.
As Nobel Prize winner, Professor Kirk Smith, said, “There are no magic bullets that will solve all of our greenhouse gas problems, but replacing kerosene lamps is a low-hanging fruit.”
We need to grab this fruit before it’s too late. Solar power eliminates these emissions. It stops the need for health care facilities to power their equipment with diesel and it stops families from having to throw their batteries on the floor after use leading to acid leaking caused by the sunlight.
Beyond this, when a solar light reaches its end of life, there is no good way to repair it or recycle it. We are now faced with millions of useless solar lights in landfill. In 2019, we launched a new programme to change this.
A solar light saves the planet.