Today, the Irish Government, as part of its national Carbon Budget, announced what will be in effect the European Union’s first ban on energy-wasting incandescent lightbulbs. Greenpeace congratulates the Irish government on its decision to lead the world in this simple but essential step in tackling climate change.
Greenpeace flies a 10m x 4m banner from the Spire of Dublin, calling on the Irish Government to "Ban the Bulb".
"Today Ireland has taken a lead in banning energy-wasting
lightbulbs by as early as January 2009. Greenpeace hopes that
Ireland's decision will light the way for the EU and the rest of
the world", said Greenpeace Campaigner Eoin Dubsky, in Dublin.
Over the past year, a number of EU countries have talked about
similar bans, but Ireland is the first to act. The UK has preferred
to leave the question to retailers, seeking voluntary agreements to
take wasteful incandescent bulbs off the shelves by 2011. Last
month, French President Sarkozy declared his support for a 2010
national ban but concrete proposals have not been published yet.
The Dutch Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer, a former Philips
employee, announced initial support for a phase-out of incandescent
lightbulbs in 2011 but then reversed her opinion.  Cramer now
supports the manufacturers' call for a prolonged phase out lasting
The European Commission is working on efficiency standards for
energy-using products, such as incandescent lightbulbs. However,
there is no guarantee that these measures will be mandatory or even
ambitious. Lightbulb manufacturers such as Philips, GE and Osram
are trying to keep incandescent bulbs in the shops until 2019. 
Every year of delay in 'banning the bulb' will see Europe
unnecessarily pumping 20 million tonnes of climate-changing carbon
dioxide into the air. 
Eoin Dubsky, Greenpeace International campaigner (currently in
Dublin). Tel: +31 6 4163 6410
Notes to Editors
 Greenpeace is campaigning for governments to ban energy
wasting incandescent lightbulbs. Earlier this week Greenpeace
activists delivered over 10.000 signatures to the Irish Minister of
Environment and hung a banner on Dublin's Monument of Light saying
'Ban the bulb'.
 Lightbulb manufacturer's position paper -
 CEO Philips Lighting, speech at 07/12/06 -