Australia plans light switch

Minister plans move to low-energy light bulbs to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

    Turnbull said the switch would cut household 
    power bills by up to two-thirds [GALLO/GETTY]
    Australia produced almost 565 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2004, official figures show.
     
    Illuminating subject

    Incandescent bulbs
    Cheap to buy and produce, but much of energy used is wasted through heat

    Flourescent bulbs
    More expensive to buy, but use around 20 per cent less energy and last much longer

    Under Turnbull's plan, light bulbs that do not comply with energy efficiency targets would be gradually banned from sale.
     
    "It's a little thing, but it's a massive change," Turnbull told Australia’s Nine Network television.
     
    "If the rest of the world ... follows our lead, this will reduce an amount of energy to the tune of five times as much energy as Australia consumes," he said.
     
    Exemptions may apply for special needs such as medical lighting and oven lights.
     
    'Small step'
     
    Last month a politician in the US state of California said he was preparing to introduce a bill banning incandescent bulbs from sale.
     
    "It is a good, positive step," Australian Conservation Foundation spokesman Josh Meadows told Australia's ABC radio.
     
    "But it is a very small step. It needs to be followed through with a lot of different measures."
     
    Environmental issues are expected to feature prominently in Australia's federal elections due later this year.
     
    The opposition Labor Party has accused the government of not doing enough to respond to climate change.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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