Approximately 70% of worlds light bulbs are produced in China – almost all of which are incandescent. A new program organized by The Global Environment Facility has encouraged the nation to phase out incandescent bulbs in favor of more energy-efficient ones within the next 10 years. China is the first country to join the program, and a formal announcement is set to be made in December; Mexico, Indonesia, Venezuela and Costa Rica are also prospective countries to sign on.

As the program picks up momentum, the short-term goal of the organization is to start getting CFLs into the hands of the poor. As it is now, a florescent bulb cost 4-5 times more than incandescent bulbs, but last 10 times longer and use about a fifth of the energy. The problem is, most of the worlds poor can’t afford to spend the extra money at the time, and opt for the inefficient bulbs.

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