Following on from Australia's pledge
to phase out the usage of incandescent bulbs, the 27 leaders of the European Union have decided that all member states will have to use energy efficient lighting
before 2010. The switchover, which will affect all of the EU's 470 million+ citizens, was developed with the aim of meeting targets to reduce energy usage by 20 percent by 2020 (say that three times fast): to that end, a commission will be accepting proposals
for enabling the switchover "for office and street lighting to be adopted by 2008 and on incandescent lamps and other forms of lighting in private households by 2009." No doubt there will be some that attempt to lump this decision into the euroskeptic "straight bananas" category, although the chair of the 27 nation summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, stated that this won't be a case of people being forced to throw out existing energy inefficient bulbs, "but people should start looking at what's in the shops." Hopefully anti-EU political groups will put their views aside this time in order that this switchover goes smoothly, although something tells us lobbyists won't be the biggest concern when it comes to changing bulbs in houses and offices across 27 different countries.