EU: milieucommissie debateerde over de afschaffing van de gloeilamp.

maandag, 16 februari 2009 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

De milieucommissie van de EU debateerde op 11 februari 2009 over de afschaffing van de gloeilamp. Interessant was dat de nadelen van de spaarlamp, met name de hoofdpijn veroorzakende EM velden, uitgebreid ter sprake kwamen:

Incandescent bulbs: Phasing out plans debated

11.02.2009: Plans to gradually replace incandescent bulbs with energy-saving or halogen lamps by 2012 were debated in the Environment Committee on Wednesday morning.

In December the Commission proposed to gradually abolish incandescent bulbs - a measure approved by Member State experts in the so called Ecodesign Regulatory Committee. Parliament can oppose this measure by 15 March at the latest.

Saving energy and CO2 emissions

''This measure is not peanuts. There is a lot at stake here: 15 million tons of CO2 and an amount of electricity as high as the one consumed by Finland could be saved'', stressed Peter Liese (EPP-ED, DE).

''CO2 savings cannot be used as a killer argument'', objected Holger Krahmer (ALDE, DE) reasoning that ''we couldn't either abolish all electric toothbrushes to save all the electricity consumed - let's say - by Spain''. He argued that those decisions should be taken by democratically elected bodies: ''Our citizens increasingly get the impression that political decisions are taken behind closed doors''. He agreed with Klaus-Heiner Lehne (EPP-ED, DE) that such a decision should be taken under the co-decision procedure.

''I don't want to have the power to harm the environment'', disagreed Carl Schlyter (Greens/EFA, SV) hoping for more implementing measures like this one to be taken soon.

Waste disposal of mercury contained in light bulbs

''Australia, Canada and the United States are already doing this'', added Linda McAvan (PES, UK). For her the remaining problem was the waste disposal of all the mercury contained in light bulbs.

Vittorio Prodi (ALDE, IT) stressed that it would be useful if light bulbs could be reused or recycled to limit the waste production.

Informing consumers

''Energy-saving lamps are still not popular with people and they won't easily accept a ban of incandescent bulbs'', said Dorette Corbey (PES, NL) warning that people might stockpile light bulbs at home.

''We should put back what is seen as a ban for a year and have a proper information campaign to the public'', said Caroline Jackson (EPP-ED, UK). For Satu Hassi (Greens/EFA, FI), on the other hand, the phasing out should be speeded up. She criticised the ''long waiting time'' until the proposed measure to actually take effect.

''We can trust that the industry will be very busy in informing the consumers. It's in their interest!'', said Anders Wijkman (EPP-ED, SV).

Health risks

John Bowis (EPP-ED, UK) was worried about the possible health risks caused by the phasing out of incandescent bulbs. He stressed that low-energy bulbs could lead to headaches due to the electromagnetic fields they produce. Account should also be taken of the needs of partially-sighted and light-sensitive people, he said. ''We have to be certain to get the supply of appropriate alternatives'', he stressed.

Next steps

The Environment Committee asked the Commission to answer MEPs' concerns in a letter by Monday next week. On Tuesday 17 February the committee will then decide whether to table a motion for a resolution to the plenary session from 9-12 March 2009. If Parliament does not object the proposed measure in a resolution adopted by the whole House, the phasing-out plans will enter into force by end of March.

Background: ''Regulatory procedure with scrutiny''

Under the current eco-design directive, adopted by Parliament and Council in 2005, the Commission can set minimum energy efficiency and functionality requirements for a range of products (such as consumer electronics, household and heating appliances). Parliament and Council can block such implementing measures (''regulatory procedure with scrutiny'').


Juliane KAMMER

European Parliament - Press Service


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