Australia has announced plans to ban the incandescent light bulb, which is hopes will cut its emissions by 4 million metric tons by 2012. The ban, which will be completed by 2010, will make Australia the first nation in the world to do away with the technology that has remained largely unchanged since its inception over 125 years ago.
Legislation for a ban on incandescents isn't new - California was the first to examine the idea, but with no results as of yet. The nation-wide ban in Australia should spark debate over the wholesale elimination of the bulb across the globe. In the United States, Wal-Mart and General Electric have begun the push for the compact flourescent bulb as GE improves the quality of the technology and Wal-Mart has achieved an economy of scale that has brought the price down for the average consumer.
Mathematically and environmentally, the CFL push makes perfect sense. It requires less than 1/3 of the energy needed to power an incandescent light and lasts roughly ten times longer. Over its lifetime, a CFL can save about half a ton of CO2 and more than pays for itself in cutting down the utility bill.