As G8 and EU ministers gather in Berlin to discuss energy efficiency measures, Greenpeace uses a mechanised road roller to crush ten thousand energy-wasting light bulbs at the Brandenburg Gate.
Ministers are gathering at a 2-day meeting "Energy Efficiency:
Shaping Tomorrow's World" to discuss efficiency measures, as part
of a German government initiative during its dual presidency of the
EU and the G8.
The demonstration marks the start of Greenpeace International's
energy efficiency campaign, which aims to stop the huge energy
wastage caused by a wide variety of inefficient electrical products
" the first of these being the iconic light bulb. Greenpeace's
global blueprint for avoiding dangerous climate change " the Energy
[R]evolution " identifies the combination of energy efficiency with
renewable sources of energy (such as wind, solar and geothermal) as
the "winning combination" for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to
a level which will keep global warming under 2 degrees, whilst
allowing for economic and population growth.
Light bulbs are an iconic example of the many energy wasting
products that are sold to consumers. An incandescent light bulb
wastes 95% of its energy generating heat instead of light. Although
cheaper to buy than energy efficient bulbs, incandescent bulbs cost
consumers almost 200 euros a year in wasted electricity (1), and on
a pan-European level, contribute millions of tons greenhouse gases
in the generation of this wasted power. Switching to CFLs (energy
efficient bulbs) alone would result in shutting down 25 polluting
power stations in Europe.
"It's urgent to close the European market to "energy-wasters".
We have heard rumours and vague promises from various governments
about banning incandescent bulbs, so let's do it now! We are
calling on ministers to instigate immediate national bans on light
bulbs and push for enforcement of a EU-wide mandatory efficiency
standard on domestic lighting by 2010. This would not be hard for
the EU and would send a strong political signal to the world: this
19th century climate-damaging product has no place in the 21st
century." said Laetitia de Marez, head of Greenpeace
International's Efficiency project.
The EU has started to consider efficiency standards for certain
energy-using product categories under the framework of the
Ecodesign directive, but this process is lengthy and any proposed
legislation could amount to nothing more than "voluntary measures"
if industry lobbyists have their way. Greenpeace demands that all
standards are to be ambitious and mandatory, and that this EU
process is speeded up.
"Energy efficiency is such an easy, logical and profitable way
to solve half the climate problem that we can't afford to not grab
this opportunity. Smart energy use is something that benefits
everybody: less CO2 emissions, lower energy bills and lower power
consumption. It's win-win-win, so why not use energy the smart
way?" said Sharon Becker from Greenpeace International.
Other contacts: Laeticia de Marez, Greenpeace International climate campaign : +31 646 16 2020 Sharon Becker, Greenpeace International climate campaign: +31 616 16 2036 Nigel Campbell, Greenpeace International Chief Media Officer: +31 6 2129 6908 Michael Hopf, Greenpeace Germany Press Officer: +49 1718 780 835
VVPR info: Michael Nagasaka, Greenpeace International VideoDesk: +31 (0)646 16 6309 Laura Lombardi, Greenpeace International, Picture Desk: ++31(0)6 29001162
Notes: (1) Based on Dutch Ecofys research: 25 bulbs x 7,90 euros that are wasted per bulb per year.
Exp. contact date: 2007-04-26 00:00:00