This commitment by the “world’s workshop” to end the manufacture and use of wasteful incandescent light bulbs cannot be under estimated. While switching to CFL’s (75% more efficient than incandescents) has become unremarkable in some developed nations, the significance of China’s move should not be underestimated. Almost 20% of global electricity is used for lighting and the pollution it causes is equivalent to half of all the cars on the world’s roads.
With China starting to churn out billions of efficient bulbs, costs will fall further. That means it will be possible to cut carbon emissions from lighting around the world – perhaps by as much as half. Even more important when much of the third world is yet to realise electric lighting to much of its population, but should now hopefully develop with CFL’s.
Lighting is an easy and cheap way of reducing energy use across the world without recourse to ‘flashy’ green technology, and this decision by China shows them to be more in touch with energy use in this respect than the USA – at last some (minor) positive news from the far East.