U.S., E.U. push phaseout of incandescent bulbs, U.K. gets serious about carbon

The world is seeing the energy-efficient light: a U.S. coalition including Philips Lighting and the Natural Resources Defense Council will push to phase out incandescent bulbs by 2016. And following the lead of Australia and California, European Union leaders have proposed ditching the bulbs even sooner, a plan that could reduce E.U. carbon emissions up to 25 million tons a year. E.U. President Angela Merkel, who uses energy-saving bulbs at home, offered her pitch: they’re “not quite bright enough, so sometimes when I’m looking for something that’s dropped on the carpet I have a bit of a problem.” Uh … moving on. Yesterday, the British government proposed first-of-its-kind legislation to reduce the nation’s CO2 emissions 60 percent by 2050 with a series of five-year “carbon budgets.” While some wish the target were more ambitious, Prime Minister Tony Blair declared the bill — which could become law by early next year — a “revolutionary step” that “sets an example to the rest of the world.”