Smoking kills - Kolaghat coal plant protest

Feature story - October 11, 2007
Today, Greenpeace India activists scaled a 76 metre (250ft) smokestack spewing carbon dioxide at the Kolaghat coal fired power station, to paint the message "SMOKING KILLS". No, we're not talking about cigarettes - we're pointing the finger at one of the biggest causes of climate change - coal. [UPDATED]

Greenpeace painted "Smoking Kills" on the smoke stacks of the Kolaghat Thermal Power Station.

"The addiction to coal fired power plants is a deadly one that the Indian government needs to get away from immediately," said Soumyabrata Rahut, Climate Campaigner Greenpeace India. "As in any addiction, we will have to wean ourselves away from the bad habit in a phased manner, but to continue on a carbonized growth path will be suicidal not only for the health of the country but for the entire planet."

Currently 67 percent of India's total electricity is from coal fired power plants, and additional proposed plants will lead to the doubling of CO2 emissions from the power sector in India. This will push India in to the third slot just behind USA and China from the current fifth position in overall CO2 emissions.

Update - 12 October -

Sixvolunteers were arrested yesterday, were denied bail and remain injail. They have been charged with criminal trespass and violation ofthe West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order Act of1972.

The Rainbow Warrior arrived in Calcutta todaybearing the message "Arrest Climate Change: Free the Climate6."   ( readmore)

Update - 15 October

- The six Greenpeace activists, four men and two women were granted bail this afternoon. The next hearing of the case is scheduled for December 19. ( read more)

Saving energy - the other side of the issue

Greenpeace India is not only tackling climate change from the supply side, they're also going after the demand side by calling for a ban on energy wasting lightbulbs.  Earlier this week, they used floating life rings create a massive 45 metre (150ft) 'BAN THE BULB' message on the Hoogly river (also in Kolkata), and over 200,000 people have signed their ban the bulb petition.

Banning energy guzzling incandescent lightbulbs would cut India's carbon dioxide emissions by a whopping 55 million tones. It's a simple, quick and doable step that can lead to a four percent cut in India's carbon dioxide emissions.

Rainbow Warrior on the way

The Rainbow Warrior is scheduled to arrive on the 12th of October on its maiden voyage to Kolkata and the Sunderbans, to highlight the extreme vulnerability of this ecologically sensitive region and to sea level rise.  Watch the Greenpeace India website for more on the Rainbow Warrior's work there.

Ban the bulb

Ask India to ban the bulb.

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