[LINK] And we thought it was Turnbull's idea

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Sun Mar 11 14:50:27 AEDT 2007

so much for originality:


Two years to change EU light bulbs

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.

Jan Whitaker
JLWhitaker Associates, Melbourne Victoria
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com
personal: http://www.janwhitaker.com/personal/
commentary: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/

'Seed planting is often the most important step. 
Without the seed, there is no plant.' - JW, April 2005
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