As best as we can make out from the myriad stories doing the rounds, the environmental group Planet Ark were about to announce a new campaign next week, in partnership with Philips. It was to be called Ban the Bulb. But the new federal Environment minister, Malcolm Turnbull, stole their thunder (and, it seems, their idea) by announcing today that incandescent light bulbs were to get the flick (as the newspapers are headlining the move). The government are claiming it as a world first, (for a nation maybe, but as we reported, California recently suggested a similar move for that state — which has almost double the population of Australia, as it happens). The minister reckons it should save 800,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions during the three year phase-out period, with an annual emission reduction of 4 million tonnes by 2015. Incandescents will be banned by legislation in about 2009-10, though some special needs, such as medical use, may receive dispensation. Of course, the replacement lighting offering these savings will be compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Though we imagine the LED guys will seize the opportunity too. An interesting stat that came out with all this, was that globally lighting is equal in emission contribution to about 70% of the world's passenger vehicles. Which should remind us that turning off lights when a room is vacant also helps too, even better than using CFLs. ::Department of Environment Press Release (PDF), via ABC, SMH and the Australian.