LONDON – Ireland is to ban the traditional lightbulb with householders forced to switch to new long-life low-energy bulbs.
Legislation is being introduced to ban the sale of the normal incandescent lightbulb from January, 2009 so as the normal lightbulb breaks, householders will have to replace them with the more environmentally friendly long-life bulb which uses far less energy.
In a 'Carbon Budget', Environment Minister John Gormley, announced the ban and said “By getting rid of these bulbs we will save 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year,” he added. It has been estimated that consumers will save €185million in electricity costs every year as a result of the measure.
According to Greenpeace the U.K. has a plan which proposes a 'voluntary agreement' between major retailers which has no legal teeth and will only come into full effect in 2011.
“By banning all wasteful lightbulbs within months, Ireland has shown the rest of Europe that it’s serious about energy efficiency and fighting climate change,” said Greenpeace climate campaigner Louise Molloy.
Greenpeace says that over the past year, a number of EU countries have talked about similar bans, but Ireland is the first to act. 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 until 2019.