From: Associated Press
Published May 10, 2007 12:00 AM

Green Group Urges Hong Kong Ban on Energy-Wasting Light Bulbs

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong homes are lit up by an estimated 4.2 million energy-wasting light bulbs, a conservation group said Thursday, urging the government to compel residents to use more environmentally friendly fluorescent bulbs.

Conventional incandescent light bulbs emit more heat than light, while fluorescent light bulbs last 10 times longer and consume only one-fifth of the electricity, Greenpeace said in a statement.

It said mandatory use of the pricier fluorescent light bulbs in Hong Kong could help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 480,000 metric tons (528,000 short tons) a year.

Hong Kong's greenhouse gas emissions are shooting up with carbon dioxide emissions up 10 percent in 2005 on 1990 levels, the statement said.

Hong Kong's heavily polluted skies are a major issue in this bustling financial hub. One local study found that pollution contributes to 1,600 deaths in the city a year, fueling fears that tourists and investors may shift their attention to cleaner cities such as Singapore.

Greenpeace said governments in Australia, Chile, the European Union and the U.S. state of California have already taken steps to phase out the use of conventional bulbs.

"There are readily available substitutes of incandescent light bulbs for usual electric lighting," activist Frances Yeung was quoted as saying in the Greenpeace statement.

"To phase them out is effortless and the government should take this as the first step against global warming without excuse," he said.

Exemptions could be made in areas where there are no substitutes, such as medical lighting and other professional usage, Greenpeace said.

The legislature is mulling a government proposal to force manufacturers and importers of fluorescent light bulbs to include energy efficiency information on the packaging of their products, the Environmental Protection Department said in a statement Thursday.

The proposal does not suggest the mandatory labeling of energy-wasting incandescent bulbs.

About 42 percent of the 671 respondents polled by Greenpeace in Hong Kong in April used incandescent light bulbs at home.

Based on that sampling, Greenpeace projected that 4.21 million conventional light bulbs are currently in use in Hong Kong.

Greenpeace's survey had a margin of error of 4.3 percent.

Source: Associated Press

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