China, maker of 70 percent of the world's lightbulbs, has followed Australia's example and agreed to phase out incandescent light bulbs in favor of more energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). China's decision comes as a result of lobbying by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), an independent grantmaking institution focused on helping developing countries undertake sustainability projects.
"We are starting a world campaign to ban all inefficient lightbulbs," says Monique Barbut, the GEF's CEO. "And China has just agreed." She adds that the transition would be made over the next decade. Australia announced it would phase out incandescents by 2010, and GEF is working with the Australian government to help get the Chinese phase-out up and running.
According to Barbut, China's switch to CFL bulbs could offset 500 million tons of carbon dioxide, the world's chief greenhouse gas, annually...