Minister moots light bulb ban (update)

Environment minister Jacqueline Cramer has called for a ban on traditional light bulbs within the next four years. The minister was speaking after a visit to Philips in Eindhoven as part of the cabinet’s 100-day idea-gathering tour.

The minister said that energy-saving bulbs were far better for the environment and people’s pockets. Her spokesman said later that Cramer intended to press for the ban’s inclusion in the cabinet programme which is due to be presented in mid-June.
In March, prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende told the European environment summit a ban on the traditional bulb was going too far. But Philips, which began a worldwide campaign to boost the use of energy-saving bulbs 18 months ago, welcomed the minister’s statement.
The EU is already working on plans to phase out traditional light bulbs by the end of 2008.
Meanwhile, the two main Dutch employers organisations have called for the establishment of a ‘sustainability accord’ to achieve the climate and environmental targets set down in the government’s coalition agreement.
‘Policy based on bans and taxes is bound to fail,’ Loek Hermans, chairman of small business association MKB Nederland said at the launch of the proposal.
The government’s plans include a 30% cut in CO2 emissions by 2020 and an annual 2% cut in energy usage.

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