Thursday, August 30, 2007

Greens see red after EU keeps duty on light bulbs

THE European Commission is under fire from green campaigners and retailers for plans to extend duties on energy-efficient light bulbs from China.

The Chinese light bulbs have been subject to import duties since 2001, because the commission says the products are sold in EU markets for less than their true value.

Yesterday, EU commissioners met in Brussels and agreed to keep tariffs of 66 per cent in place, despite calls from green campaigners to bring down the price of energy-efficient light bulbs to encourage consumers to make greener choices.

...Environmental groups have slammed the decision as being inconsistent with the European Union's targets to improve energy efficiency and lead the world in tackling climate change.

Experts at the European office of the Wordwide Fund for Nature (WWF) estimate a faster take-up of energy-efficient light bulbs could save 23 million tonnes of carbon per year, the equivalent of 0.5 per cent of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions....MORE from The Scotsman

Here's the WWF's take on the Commissions decision:
EU keeps unfair market barriers on energy-saving lamps

Brussels, Belgium – Today the EU Commission proposed to continue anti-dumping duties on energy-saving lamps imported from China. WWF, the global conservation organisation, considers this proposal disappointing, unfair and seriously inconsistent with the ambitious EU targets to improve energy efficiency in Europe and to curb climate change.

“This is narrowly protectionist and sends a regressive message to developing country producers that they will be excluded from markets for cleaner products created by the higher environmental standards expected by European consumers”, says Eivind Hoff, WWF Trade and Investment Advisor. “This case shows a severe contradiction in EU policies: on the one hand, Europe has committed to an ambitious energy efficiency objective and on the other hand it continues to impose taxes on imports of green products such as the energy-efficient light bulbs from China”....