Going electric and banning new petrol-powered cars could be Australia’s next big light bulb moment

An artistic, colourful editing of a close-up photograph of a fancy car.
10 June 2021

In 2007 Malcolm Turnbull turned off an industry’s life support without blinking.

The industry made light bulbs, of the traditional kind; so energy-inefficient they lost most of it as heat.

“A normal light bulb is too hot to hold — that heat is wasted, and globally represents millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide that needn’t have been emitted,” he explained.

From February 2009 it became illegal to import the traditional pear-shaped globes, while from November that year it became illegal to sell them.

It was a world-first, announced by Turnbull as environment minister and sanctioned by his prime minister John Howard.

The European Union followed, and then, some years later, China.

Globally, electric lighting generated emissions equal to 70% of those from cars. Australia’s switch cut emissions by an estimated 4 million tonnes per year.

Read the full article on The Conversation website, authored by Visiting Fellow Peter Martin