'Ban the Bulb': Save Kolkata from impacts of Global Warming

Greenpeace calls for action to prevent climate chaos

Press release - October 8, 2007
KOLKATA, India — Greenpeace activists floated life rings forming a massive 150 ft message ‘BAN THE BULB’(1) in the Hoogly today, highlighting the urgent need for action to combat climate change to save Kolkata. Greenpeace is campaigning for a progressive energy efficiency legislation that would phase out energy guzzling products like the incandescent light bulb as the first step. According to Greenpeace, nothing short of an Energy [R]evolution(2) is required to prevent a climate crisis.

Kolkata: Greenpeace activists float life rings forming the message, "Ban the bulb" on the Hooghly highlighting the urgency to combat climate change to save Kolkata and the Sundarbans from sea level rise. A complete phase out of the incandescent bulb will lead to a 4% cut on India's carbon dioxide emissions.

The 4th Assessment Report by the Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -  a United Nations forum of scientists, predicts global sea level rise by the end of the century if Green House Gas (GHG) emissions remain unchecked that could threaten cities like Kolkata, and cause massive displacement of coastal communities.

"Kolkata is extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts. It is a city that often experiences intense cyclonic activity that is common in the Bay of Bengal. This, exacerbated by the rising sea levels is certainly a big threat to this city if global temperature rise is not kept well below 2 degrees", said Vinuta Gopal, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace. "The good news is that we can still avoid the worst impacts of climate change. It needs foresight and it requires Governments to move beyond rhetoric to serious, time bound actions. The time for the Government to act is now and not after we've crossed tipping point", she added.

By banning the energy guzzling incandescent light bulb, India can cut its carbon dioxide emissions by a whopping 55 million tones. This is a simple, quick and doable step and can lead to a 4% cut in India's carbon dioxide emissions.

Greenpeace' flagship the Rainbow Warrior is scheduled to arrive in Kolkata on the 12th of October on its maiden voyage to Kolkata and the Sunderbans, to highlight the extreme vulnerability of this ecologically sensitive region to sea level rise. Greenpeace urges governments, including the Indian Government, that the time vacillation is over and the need of the hour is clear time bound action to prevent climate chaos.

For further information, contact

Jayashree Nandi, Greenpeace Media officer, +919343868011,

Vinuta Gopal, Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner, +91-9845535418,

Notes to Editor

(1) Greenpeace is campaigning in India to get a legislation passed that would result in the phase out of the incandescent bulb by 2010 by establishing progressive efficiency standards.
(2) ‘Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable Energy Outlook for India’ – Greenpeace launched this report in April 2007.The report shows how renewable energy, combined with energy efficiency from the ‘smart use’ of energy, can deliver half of India’s primary energy needs by 2050. It provides a practical blueprint for reducing India’s carbon dioxide emissions by 4% in the next 43 years while providing a secure, affordable energy supply. The report can be downloaded at: