[LINK] And we thought it was Turnbull's idea
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Sun Mar 11 14:50:27 EST 2007
so much for originality:
Two years to change EU light bulbs
IAN JOHNSTON ENVIRONMENT CORRESPONDENT ()
ORDINARY light bulbs are to be banned across the
European Union within two years in the fight against climate change.
The 490 million citizens of the 27 member states
will be expected to switch to energy-efficient
bulbs after a summit of EU leaders yesterday told
the European Commission to "rapidly submit proposals" to that effect.
Environmentalists said the change would save the
public up to £5.4 billion a year in fuel bills
and also about 20 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
The energy that would be saved in the UK is
equivalent to one medium-sized power station.
The announcement came as EU leaders agreed to cut
greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020
compared with 1990 levels and pledged to increase
this to 30 per cent if other developed countries followed suit.
Greenpeace hailed the summit deal as "the biggest
such decision since the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol".
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who chaired the
summit, said: "We're not saying people should
throw out all the bulbs in their house today but
people should start looking at what's in the shops," she said.
However Mrs Merkel appeared to suggest she was
not totally enamoured of the low-energy bulbs
. "Most of the light bulbs in my flat are
energy-saving bulbs. They're not yet quite bright
enough. When I'm looking for something I've
dropped on the carpet, I have a bit of a problem," she said.
Australia last month said it would become the
first country in the world to ban traditional,
incandescent light bulbs - little changed since
they were invented in the 19th century -
announcing it would phase them out within three years.
Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said: "We are
very impressed by the Australians and before we
came to the summit, we had already been in touch
with them and looking at the issue."
The Commission was asked to draw up proposals on
energy efficiency requirements for office and
street lighting "to be adopted by 2008" and on
incandescent bulbs and other forms of lighting in private homes by 2009.
Details of the proposals will still have to be
formally approved, but the council yesterday was clearly behind the idea.
Tony Blair said the meeting had been
"ground-breaking", adding: "This summit has seen
Europe embark on a bold and ambitious move on climate change."
Greenpeace spokesman Mahi Sideridou said: "EU
leaders deserve top marks for pushing climate change to the top of the agenda."
However he said a 30 per cent reduction in carbon
emissions was required if the global temperature
rise was to be kept below the point at which
climate change is expected to become "dangerous".
And Friends of the Earth Scotland's chief
executive, Duncan McLaren, said he was disappointed by the target.
"Their actions remain too timid in the light of
warnings from the world's scientific and economic
experts. In the run up to May's elections here in
Scotland, we will be watching carefully to see
which of the political parties are prepared to
commit to the year-on-year pollution cuts now needed," he said.
Mr McLaren welcomed the move towards
energy-saving light bulbs: "If this is a
[European] Council proposal, then getting it
through and implemented within three years isn't
bad, even if it is quite a long time to change a lightbulb."
A Scottish Green Party spokesman said as more
people bought energy-saving light bulbs the cost
would drop off "which would enable the least
well-off to benefit from regular substantial savings on energy bills".
EU officials were celebrating. As the summit
bandwagon rolled out of town, someone was heard
to shout: "Will the last here turn out the lights?"
The key targets and objectives:
A minimum 20 per cent EU cut in greenhouse gas
emissions by 2020, and a push for a bigger cut of 30 per cent in future.
A target of 20 per cent energy efficiency
savings by 2020, requiring homes, offices and
streets to switch to energy-saving lighting.
A 20 per cent binding target for energy
consumption from renewable sources such as wind
and solar across the EU by 2020.
A minimum 10 per cent target for biofuels in
vehicles' petrol and diesel by 2020.
Setting up 12 large scale plants that
demonstrate sustainable fuel technologies by 2015
in an effort to test and promote carbon capture and storage by 2020.
JLWhitaker Associates, Melbourne Victoria
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
'Seed planting is often the most important step.
Without the seed, there is no plant.' - JW, April 2005
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