22 February 2007
Barrett has bright idea for bulb ban
John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today launched moves in parliament to phase out the use of incandescent and inefficient fluorescent light bulbs in the UK.
Mr Barrett made the move after the Australian Government announced its intention to ban the traditional light bulb by 2010.
Currently, 19% of the world’s energy consumption is given over to lighting and it is estimated that a global switch to efficient lighting systems would cut the world’s electricity bill by nearly one-tenth, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The report suggests that the carbon dioxide emissions saved by such a switch would dwarf cuts so far achieved by adopting wind, solar power and other renewables.
Mr Barrett has today tabled a motion in parliament calling on the Government to ban the most wasteful varieties of light bulbs and to do more to encourage the uptake of more energy efficient models.
John Barrett said:
“The energy savings we would achieve through a switch to more energy efficient lighting are massive. Instead of investing millions in a new generation of nuclear power stations, we should instead be looking at practical changes we can make to lower our energy usage.
“The technology is there; what we need is the political will to make the switch. By banning the oldest and least efficient bulbs we will show our commitment to tackling our emissions and send a positive message across the world.
“While incandescent light bulbs are the least efficient, the biggest consumer is actually the fluorescent tube because of its high use in commercial and public sector buildings. Fluorescent lights are often perceived as more efficient although in reality, their efficiency can vary widely, between about 15% and 60% and any legislation must also address this issue.
“Following the Australian ban, it is time for the UK Government to follow their good example. Incandescent light bulbs are a 19th century technology that, although revolutionary in their day, must now be consigned to the history books.”
John Barrett has tabled the following Early Day Motion in parliament:
That this house welcomes moves by the Australian Government to ban incandescent light bulbs by 2010; recognises that currently 19% of the world’s energy consumption is given over to lighting; notes the report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) which found that a global switch to efficient lighting systems could cut global electricity needs by nearly one-tenth; notes that incandescent light bulbs are a 19th century technology and are far less efficient that more modern energy saving alternatives; further notes that fuel efficient compact fluorescent models use 20% of the electricity to produce the same amount of light; congratulates the UK based Ban the Bulb campaign for raising the profile of this issue in the UK; and calls on the Government to encourage the use of energy efficient light bulbs amongst individuals and business and to bring forward legislation to ban incandescent and wasteful fluorescent light bulbs in the UK.