I hate to say it, but I’ve been sick and therefore a little behind on bringing you some of the more exciting bits of news floating around recently. However, I thought this was just to interesting to pass up. The other day we learned that the EU finally made a ban on incandescent light bulbs official policy. This ban came up last year, but hadn’t been acted upon until now.
When I first heard about the ban, frankly, I was a little skeptical that it would come to fruition. Perhaps I am too used to American-style policy making that seems to revolve around endless posturing and political trade-offs, but I’m nevertheless excited to see this ban going into effect.
The ban will come into effect in 2010 and will force a large number of people to make the switch to CFLs and possibly LEDs further down the line. CFLs cost quite a bit more than traditional incandescent bulbs, but they also last longer and only use a small fraction of the energy. The EU hopes to reduce energy consumption related to lighting 60% with the ban, which should help many countries in the overall goal to cut carbon emissions.
As I’ve talked about before, bans are not always the best solution for environmental problems, but I think in this case they’re appropriate. CFLs have been on the market for quite a while, are well known by most consumers, and do not create an ever-present inconvenience. A ban may still seem a bit harsh to some people, but in the end, I think, action is better than inaction and economic incentives to purchase CFLs (which tend to only be a few dollars each anyway) will be largely ineffectual.
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