Greenpeace launches a signature drive against the inefficient bulbs in India

Across eight cities, celebrities and citizens join hands with Greenpeace to say Ban the Bulb!

Press release - April 19, 2007
NEW DELHI, India — Greenpeace today launched a petition signing drive aimed at collecting one million signatures to call on the Union Government to implement a ban on inefficient light bulbs in the country by the year 2010. Attended by several celebrities and eminent citizens the signature drive in Delhi was flagged off at the the Foreign Correspondent's club in the morning. Simultaneously across the cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Pune and Bangalore several celebrities signed big blow ups of the "Ban the Bulb" petition supporting Greenpeace in its campaign to fight climate change and the prevailing energy crisis in the country at the same time.

Clebrities and citizens join hands with Greenpeace to say Ban the Bulb by signing the petition.

In Delhi, Tom Alter, Subir Mallik of Parikrama, Raghu Rai, Swami Agnivesh, Kiran Bedi, Ranjana Gauhar signed the petition, while in the other cities of the country Prahlad Kakkar, Anant Patwardhan (Mumbai) Usha Uthup (Kolkata), Vani Gapapati, Master Kishan, Shweta Subramanian (Bangallore), J Malaya (Pune), Nekchand (chandigarh), Siddharth (Chennai) and Amala, Maanya, Chandana (Hyderabad) and others supported the demand to phase out inefficient lighting and foster cheap access to efficient alternatives like Compact Fluorescent lights (CFL).

"Our talks with some of the state and Central ministers were quite favorable. Our initiative to ban the bulb got a lot of support but still we do not see decisive action being taken. It needs a strong call from the public to push governments to take the required steps to fight power crisis and climate change at the same time. With this petition we want to empower people to call on their government to implement common sense. We also call on other networks too, to support us in distributing the petition, "said K Srinivas, climate and energy expert, Greenpeace.

As per statistics, the peak energy demand of Delhi is 3600 mega watt but its supply is falling short by 750MW, leading to long lasting power cuts. In the recently released budget the state government decided to hike its power budget almost five fold to Rs 1285 Crores to fight the energy crisis. Ironically most of it will be invested in building of thermal power plants and increasing Delhi 's Carbon Dioxide emissions thus fostering climate change, resulting in even hotter summers in the capital.

Energy consumption of the city could be significantly reduced by getting rid of inefficient lighting. While inefficient ordinary light bulbs have vanished from most commercial buildings and even the state and central government are progressively changing to efficient lighting system, an estimated 12.5 crores of ordinary light bulbs are still wasting electricity in the state. Changing them to efficient Fluorescent lamps could reduce energy consumption by roughly 450 MW, reducing the present power shortage by 60%.

The state government had in the past initiated several projects to promote CFLs all of which have failed to significantly reduce the use of incandescent bulbs. The only way to achieve fast phase out of inefficient lighting is to ban it. Such a phase out of inefficient lighting could be implemented as soon as 2010, easing the power crisis much faster than the construction of new thermal power plants that at least would need until 2012 before it will feed any electricity into the grid.

In the coming months citizens will be able to meet Greenpeace activists in different areas of their cities and sign on the petition. An even easier way to sign on is to visit the campaign web-page " " or just send an SMS reading BTB to 4646

For further information, contact

K Srinivas – Climate and Energy Expert, Greenpeace

Ruchira Talukdar – Greenpeace India Communications