Bulb ban could make Ireland guiding light in EU

Press release - 8 November, 2007
Greenpeace today launched a petition calling on the Irish Government to announce an energy efficiency law with the National Budget and Carbon Budget on 5 December, which will effectively ban conventional energy-wasting incandescent lightbulbs by 2010. Supporters from Ireland and around Europe began signing the online petition to Minister John Gormley this morning at www.greenpeace.org/irishlights

Irelandcould save more energy per household than any other EU country, simply byswitching to efficient lightbulbs. That is because Irelandcurrently has the highest energy consumption per household for lighting at 920kWh (the worst in the EU-27), compared with say Germany at 337 kWh. [1]

"Wewant Irelandto lead the way for the EU on this," said Eoin Dubsky, Greenpeace International Online Organizer. "France lastmonth announced a ban on incandescent lightbulbs by 2010, but details are stillhazy. Other governments recently backpedalled saying EU law won't let them setenergy standards for lightbulbs. If Europe'slargest lightbulb manufacturers Philips, Osram & G.E. have their way, itcould be 2019 before we are finally rid of their most wasteful, outdatedproducts," he added. [2]

"Nobodystands to gain more than Ireland,"continued Eoin Dubsky. "Up to15 per cent of residential electricity demand could be saved by switching toenergy saving lightbulbs. Furthermore, setting in motion a system of mandatory,ever-improving efficiency standards will ensure that manufacturers only makethe good stuff, helping to continually cut carbon dioxide from power plantsthat add to global warming," he said. [3]

AccordingGreenpeace International campaigner Sharon Becker, "It's time to changethe lightbulb in Europe. Up to 477 milliontons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants across Europe could easily be saved if EU governments would passlaws demanding a switch to energy savers by 2010 instead of 2019. There havebeen years of talk about standards and phasing-out inefficient lighting butprecious little action. We need a government to pass a lighting energyefficiency law that sets the standard for the others." [4]

Settingthe minimum standard for residential lighting at 25 Lumens per Watt wouldeffectively ban energy-wasting incandescent lightbulbs and some inefficienthalogen bulbs. According to a legal opinion sought by Greenpeace, properlydrafted energy efficiency legislation would not fall foul of EU trade rules.[5]

Campaignersbegan discussions on a lightbulb law this summer with the Irish Government,dealing with issues of timing, hardship provisions, EU law, waste management,and opportunities for spreading the good example internationally.

Greenpeace'sglobal energy scenario for the period up to 2050 demonstrates how a radicalchange in where we get energy from, and how wisely we then use it, can keepglobal mean temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. This would avoid the worstimpacts of climate change, according international climate experts. [6]

IrishGovernment negotiators will be attending next month's UN climateconference, in Bali, Indonesia, which will be laying thefoundation for extending the Kyoto Protocol - the only internationalclimate treaty with legally-binding emissions targets.

VVPR info: Eoin Dubsky, Greenpeace International Online Organizer. Mobile: +31 6 41636410 ()

Notes: 1. Source: "Residential Lighting Consumption and Saving Potential in the Enlarged EU", Paolo Bertoldi, European Commission DG JRC, https://www.iea.org/Textbase/work/2007/cfl/Bertoldi.pdf2. Lightbulb manufacturer's position paper http://www.sustenergy.org/UserFiles/File/elcf_background_paper.pdf3. Gains from switching to energy saving lightbulbs calculated from figures in "Energy in Ireland, 1990-2005", prepared for Sustainable Energy Ireland, http://www.sei.ie/getFile.asp?FC_ID=2054&docID=684. Based on current annual incandescent sales: 0.42kg CO2 emissions per kWh for the European Energy Mix with a 60 Watt incandescent produces 25kg CO2 per 60 Watt incandescent per year x 2.1 billion, which is 53 million tons of additional CO2 emissions per year, which is 477 million tons of additional CO2 emissions within the time period 2010 to 2019.5. Contact Greenpeace International for a PDF copy of the legal opinion by Jon Turner QC.6. "Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook", European Renewable Energy Council and Greenpeace International, http://www.energyblueprint.info/Questions and Answers on Lightbulbs

Exp. contact date: 2008-01-10 00:00:00