Trumpeting it as a "world first," the Australian government is mandating a nationwide phase out of inefficient, old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent bulbs by 2010. The new policy, announced Tuesday by Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull should reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by four million tonnes two years later. Household lighting costs could be reduced by up to 66 percent, the minister said.
"The most effective and immediate way we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions is by using energy more efficiently," Turnbull said. The reduction in emissions will increase as the phaseout progresses and the annual average reduction between 2008-2012 is estimated at around 800,000 tonnes. But Australian Greens and environmentalists said much more progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions could be made if Australian industry reduced its reliance on coal-fired power and coal exports.
"Electric lighting is a vital part of our lives; globally it generates emissions equal to 70 percent of those from all the world’s passenger vehicles, but it is still very inefficient. We have been using incandescent light bulbs for 125 years and up to 90 percent of the energy each light bulb uses is wasted, mainly as heat."
"A normal light bulb is too hot to hold – that heat is wasted and globally represents millions of tonnes of CO2 [the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide] that needn’t have been emitted into the atmosphere if we had used more efficient forms of lighting."
"These more efficient lights, such as the compact fluorescent light bulb, use around 20 percent of the electricity to produce the same amount of light."