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Monday, February 19, 2007

Australia considers light bulb ban... by 2010
Ron Skinner has been in touch from Australia in order to let Ban The Bulb know that Australia's federal government has announced it is considering a ban on the sale of incandescent light bulbs.

Ban The Bulb hopes that this aspiration will quickly turn into a commitment and that Australia's courageous move will help other countries to begin thinking about what they could do, quickly and simply, to reduce their carbon emissions.

The following account of the proposal comes from Australia's Nine MSN news service...

Australia is set to become the first country in the world to stop using the cheap standard light bulb, with the federal government expected today to announce a commitment to phasing out inefficient incandescent light within three years.

The ambitious plan, set to be unveiled by Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull, aims to have every Australian home lit by compact fluorescent light by 2009-10.

Replacing the old bulb is expected to cut annual greenhouse gas emissions by 800,000 tonnes, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Under increasing pressure to deal with climate change, the Howard government is set to use this plan as an example of Australia's commitment to solving the problem of global warming.

But will the plan be effective? Australia's emissions in 2004 totalled 564.7 million tonnes. The 800,000 saved is barely 1/700 of the total released.

Phasing out the old 40-cent bulbs will also cost Australians more, with fluorescent light generally several times more expensive than the standard option.

But Colin Goldman, the head of lighting importer Nelson Industries, told the Herald he supports the move.

"These days you can buy a six-pack at the $10 mark," he said. "The prices are coming down, and as soon as you get volume with greater numbers on the market they come down further."

Goldman said compact fluorescents were available that offered a range of light for use within households.

Compact fluorescent lights use only 20 percent as much electricity as standard light bulbs to produce the same amount of light, according to the federal government.

The idea of changing the light was also proposed in California last month, branded the "How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb Act".

Strictly speaking, BTB thinks Cuba might be the first country to have phased out incandescents, but either way this is a promising development. Especially, for a country which has just been hit by the worst drought in living memory...

Good on ya, Australia!:

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