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Parliamentary questions
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11 July 2019
E-002230-19
Question for written answer E-002230-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE)

 Subject:  RoHS 2 Directive preventing the use of mercury in lamps
 Answer in writing 

In 2011, Parliament and the Council approved the amended Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive. One of the aims of this directive is to prevent the use of mercury in electric lamps.

Under pressure from dominant EU lighting companies, the Commission granted a derogation allowing the continued use of mercury in lamps given that ‘there was no alternative’. That was not true then and is not true now. That derogation expired in 2016, but the Commission was persuaded to allow it to remain in force pending a socioeconomic study, which is now overdue for publication.

Consultants actually advised the Commission not to renew the derogation in June 2016, but it has still not been cancelled. Although there is no similar legislation in force in the USA, lamps containing mercury were replaced at rates ranging from 6% for linear fixtures and up to 33% in indoor car parks in 2016. In the EU, we have not even started.

This is despite the fact that greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 3.2% in the EU ‐– against the 2030 Paris Agreement goal of 40% — if all lamps containing mercury were replaced with highly efficient LED designs. Member States could and should have started doing so eight years ago.

Can the Commission confirm that the derogation will be cancelled forthwith?

Last updated: 26 July 2019Legal notice