EU’s first enlightened move on energy efficiency
The ban of energy-intensive lamps will increase demand for more efficient products such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
© WWF-Bruno Arnold
10 Oct 2008
Brussels, Belgium – Today EU Energy Ministers decided to ban incandescent light bulbs in Europe as of 2010. The move comes few days before the lift of anti-dumping duties on energy saving lamps imported from China, which takes effect on 18 October. Both decisions are a positive move towards energy savings within the EU, says WWF, the global conservation organisation.
WWF regrets, however, that the European Union has not committed yet to a binding target reducing primary energy consumption by 20% by 2020 to boost energy conservation in all sectors. Although it was discussed by the European Council in 2007, so far this objective is only applied by European countries on a voluntary basis.
The Council of Ministers must follow the European Parliament’s Environment Committee vote and use the opportunity to make the target a key piece of law, by including it in the Effort Sharing Directive which is part of EU climate and energy package.
“Keeping energy efficiency as an optional tool will not lead us towards the much needed 30% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2020. Energy efficiency should be the cornerstone of any climate and energy strategy for the EU, therefore a target of 20% for primary energy savings must become mandatory in Europe,” says Mariangiola Fabbri, Energy Policy Officer at WWF.
Incandescent light bulbs consume 3 to 5 times more than efficient lights, such as integrated compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). The replacement of worst-performing lamps with today’s best available technology will contribute to reduce domestic energy consumption for lighting by 60% in the EU, equivalent to some 30 million tons CO2 yearly savings, corresponding to almost half of 2006 GHG emissions of Sweden.
The ban of energy-intensive lamps will increase demand for more efficient products such as CFLs and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The lift of anti-dumping duties on CFLs imported from China will make CFLs cheaper for European consumers.
“These decisions clearly show that promotion of energy efficiency brings benefits to the economy, the climate and consumers”, adds Mariangiola Fabbri. “The European Union should champion the phase-out of highly energy consuming products, facilitate access of energy saving products to the European market and help consumers make their choice responsibly, in line with the 2020 climate change targets.”
Notes to the editors
• Under the Eco-design Directive for Energy-using Products, European regulatory committees will define the standards applicable to domestic lighting from 2010. According to WWF, as of 2015 all products labelled below “A” in the European energy labelling system should also be banned, so that only the best technologies (already available today) will be placed on the market. It goes without saying that energy efficient products, whether produced in Europe or elsewhere, must comply with the highest European environmental standards in terms of design, production, recycling and waste disposal.
• Lighting is responsible for 19% of global domestic energy consumption.
• WWF, together with other partners, has set up a website to help consumers chose the most efficient appliances available in Europe: www.topten.info
For further information:
Mariangiola Fabbri, Energy Policy Officer
WWF European Policy Office
Tel: +32 2 740 09 34