Greenpeace India is now giving a call for ban on the ordinary incandescent bulb to reduce carbon dioxide emission.
"By replacing all ordinary light bulbs with CFLs (Compact Fluroscent Light) we can reduce India’s carbon dioxide emissions by 55 million tonnes annually or four per cent of its total carbon dioxide emission," says Climate Change and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace India K Srinivas.
The government of Australia became the first country to announce plans to ban incandescent light bulbs and replace them with efficient Compact Fluroscent Light bulbs in February this year; a move that is estimated to cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tonnes by 2012.
The State of California has also come out with a private members bill calling for a phase out of the light bulb, said Srinivas talking to the Hindustan Times.
India, he said, is the fifth largest carbon carbon dioxide emitter in the world and our carbon emissions by 2030 is likely to be as high as 4000 million tonnes. This quantum of emission could fuel temperature rise to as much as 3C – 3.5 C.
The cost of climate change in India could be as high as a 9-13% loss in GDP by 2100 according to World Bank economist Nicholas Stern, he added.
It is possible for India by enhancing its energy efficiency to both persist with its growth plans while reducing its carbon emissions.
"We waste lots of energy in the households by inefficient lighting. One of the swiftest and most significant measures we can take to arrest our carbon emissions immediately is to ban the incandescent bulb by legislative measures," he said.
The incandescent bulb uses up to 95% of the energy to generate heat and only remaining 5% to produce light. Compact Fluorescent Lamps use only 20% of the energy used by an ordinary light bulb, he claimed.
Srinivas cautioned that as CFLs contain toxic mercury vapour that would be released into the environment when CFLs are discarded, government must bring laws to enforce recycling of CFLs and also push manufacturers to find safer alternatives and phase out the use of mercury.