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Ireland to ban low-efficiency light bulbs

by Staff Writers
Dublin (AFP) Jan 10, 2008
Ireland is to ban the sale of traditional light bulbs from next year and promote the use of low-energy CFL bulbs, environment minister John Gormley said Thursday.

He said the switch will see Ireland lead the way in Europe -- just as it taken the lead with its ban on smoking in public places and its levy on plastic shopping bags.

"The ultimate aim of this measure is to increase energy efficiency in Irish homes and businesses by facilitating a move to energy efficient light bulbs," said Gormley, who leads Ireland's Green Party.

"Ultimately, it will lead to savings of more than 180 million euros (263 million dollars) a year for Irish consumers and reduce emissions in Ireland by 800,000 tonnes, or one percent of its total."

The Greens are in government in Ireland for the first time as part of Prime Minister Bertie Ahern's coalition.

Gormley said the Irish initiative echoed the European Commission's intention to propose an EU-wide approach on minimum energy efficiency standards for light bulbs.

Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has been pressing for a changeover, saying that it would mean greater savings per household -- given how Irish homes use more energy for lighting than anywhere else in the European Union.

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