Greenpeace launches its report “Enabling Clean Talking”

The report suggests a clean energy roadmap that can ensure economic stability of the telecom sector as well as generate savings to the tune of Rs 10000 crore

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Press release - August 29, 2012
New Delhi, 28th August, 2012 – Furthering its campaign to promote phase out of diesel consumption within the telecom sector, Greenpeace today unveiled an economic and environmental roadmap for implementation of the progressive Green Telecom Directive issued by the Department of Telecom, Government of India through its report “Enabling Clean Talking” (1). The report was released today by the Former Secretary to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Mr. Deepak Gupta.

The report which has been drafted jointly by Greenpeace and the Chennai based industry research firm Energy Alternative India (EAI), presents a detailed economic and environmental roadmap based on the Green Telecom Directive issued by Department of Telecommunication (DoT) based on the recommendation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) earlier this year (2). The report emphasizes that if the Green Telecom Directive is implemented effectively on ground, with mandatory compliance clauses within, it can help save the Indian telecom sector over Rs 2430 crore on its annual energy expenditure, apart from a saving of over INR 380 crore to the state exchequer. It also suggests simplifying some of the clauses related to carbon emission disclosures and synchronising it with the global standards along with providing fiscal support to the telecom sector for incentivising clean energy transition. 

While commending Greenpeace for its efforts to bring out this roadmap, Mr. Deepak Gupta said “Given the volatile pricing of the crude oil, adopting high sustainability scenario is the new mantra for the industry to ensure their long-term business stability and profitability. The Greenpeace roadmap for the implementation of the Green Telecom Directive provides a futuristic pathway for the telecom industry based on clean energy sourcing and low-carbon utilisation. The telecom sector should decouple its business from rising carbon emission and we all know they can do it.” 

The telecom sector needs to adopt the highest level of energy efficiency and significant deployment of renewable energy technology powering its telecom network infrastructure. The roadmap also outlines an alternate and more structured approach from that of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). As per the report, in the best case scenario, there is a return on investment to the tune of Rs 13,000 crore for Indian telecom industry if it phases out diesel completely and replaces it with renewable energy technologies by year 2020.

Apart from suggesting new and improved renewable energy target, the report also suggests high but logical carbon emission reduction target for Indian telecom sector by year 2020. The report suggests that the telecom operators should reduce their carbon emission by 40 % (with 2011 as the base year), to enable effective transition to low-carbon business model.

Some of the key findings in terms of implication of the DoT directive from the report include:

¾ Enforcement of the DoT directive would save more than 540 million litres of diesel on an average annually, and about 3.5 billion litres of diesel, cumulatively, by 2015

¾ The cost and energy savings in terms of revenue expenditure from this will be at minimum of INR 2430 crore annually

¾ About 9 million tons of carbon emission could be saved in just over 3 years’ time

The alternate approach of the report suggests:

¾ The first step is to eliminate diesel consumption in rural and semi-urban areas. 70 per cent of India’s towers are in these areas.

¾ With an ambition to be diesel free by 2020, 12.5 per cent of these towers need to be retrofitted every year resulting in the entire 100 per cent of the towers going diesel-free within 8 years

¾ For the telecom companies average savings would be INR 10,000 crore every year that adds up to nearly INR 80,000 crore over the 8 year period

"With growth, the sector’s appetite for energy will increase, making it a significant source of carbon emissions unless the industry adopts and advocates renewable energy use and backs laws to cut emission ," said Greenpeace India Campaigner and co-author of the report Mrinmoy Chattaraj "The telecom sector is well positioned to transit to a low-carbon growth trajectory. They must use their influence to promote policies that will allow them to grow responsibly without helping to fuel climate change” he added.

Greenpeace is calling on the telecom industry to focus on managing its energy and carbon by substantially shifting its power generation for network operations to renewable sources, and to proactively advocate for economy-wide policies that combat climate change and increase the use of renewable energy.


  1. The full report and other information is available at:
  2. DoT Green Telecom directive is available at
  3. Comparative analysis of TRAI and Greenpeace Alternative Approach

For more information visit


Mrinmoy Chattaraj, Campaigner, Greenpeace India, +91 9902201201,

Shashwat Raj, Media Officer, Greenpeace India, +91 9686861974,

Madhulika Verma, Media Officer +91 9971137736