John Gormley, the Minister for the Department of the Environment in Ireland, announced plans to ban traditional incandescent light-bulbs in the nation by 2009. Presenting a "carbon budget", Gormley said that he planned to introduce new standards that would effectively outlaw incandescent bulbs.
The standards will have to be met by all light-bulbs on the Irish market from January 2009. As the incandescent bulbs break, Irish residents will have to replace them with more energy efficient and environmentally friendly options such as Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs.
Gormley stated, "The aim of such a move will be to end the use of incandescent light bulbs in Ireland. These bulbs use technology invented during the age of the steam engine. By getting rid of these bulbs we will save 700,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. It has been estimated that consumers will save €185 million in electricity costs every year as a result of the measure."
Several European Union countries have discussed similar bans, but Ireland is the first to take such an action. French President Sarkozy declared his support last month for a 2010 national ban in France, but concrete proposals have as yet to be published. The Dutch Environment Minister, Jacqueline Cramer, a former employee of Philips, initially expressed support for a phase-out of incandescent light bulbs in 2011, but then reversed herself. Cramer now supports the manufacturers’ call for a prolonged phase out lasting until 2019.