BEIJING, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday unveiled its three-step plan for phasing out energy-inefficient incandescent light bulbs in an attempt to promote energy conservation and emissions reductions.
Imports and sales of 100-watt-and-higher incandescent light bulbs will be banned as of Oct. 1, 2012, Xie Ji, deputy director of the environmental protection department with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said at a conference.
This will be followed by a ban on imports and sales of 60-watt-and-above incandescent light bulbs starting Oct. 1, 2014, he said.
The same rule will apply to incandescent light bulbs of 15 watts or higher from Oct. 1, 2016, he added.
The government might adjust the last step according to a mid-term evaluation which will run for one year and finish on Sept. 30, 2016, he said.
The plan shows China's determination to press ahead in its efforts to save energy, reduce emissions and curb climate change, he said.
"China is a major manufacturer and consumer of lighting products," he said, adding that the country is the world's largest producer of both energy-saving and incandescent bulbs.
In 2010, production of incandescent light bulbs totaled 3.85 billion units, and domestic sales stood at 1.07 billion units, he said.
Power consumption for lighting in China accounted for 12 percent of the country's total electricity use. The energy saving and emissions cut potential is huge, he said.
After implementing the plan, China will save 48 billion kilowatt hours of power per year and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 48 million tonnes annually, according to the NDRC.
The government pledged in March to cut energy consumption per unit of GDP by 16 percent while slashing carbon emissions by 17 percent in the five years to 2015.
Xie said the plan will also "have a significant impact" in reducing the use incandescent lamps worldwide.
Several nations including Australia, Canada and Britain have announced plans to phase out traditional incandescent light bulbs. The European Commission has also passed laws and regulations regarding the use of such bulbs.
"Phasing-out incandescent lamps in China will not only promote lighting technology progress and lighting industry upgrading and optimization, it will also make a positive contribution for realizing China's energy conservation and emission reduction goal," said Christophe Bahuet, deputy country director of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
It will also be conducive to addressing global climate change, he said.