100% Bihar

The Purpose Climate Lab identified the regional elections in Bihar as an opportunity to engage the public on energy access issues, calling on candidates to pledge to powering Bihar with 100% Clean Energy. Using unique tactics like working with local celebrities, creating educational radio shows, and mobilizing rickshaw drivers ultimately led to ambitious policy change and infrastructure development.

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Challenge

There are over 80 million people in Bihar that don’t have access to reliable electricity. Power cuts interfere with daily life and the state lacked ambitious policy to leapfrog fossil fuel dependence and develop clean energy infrastructure.

Opportunity

In the lead up to Regional elections, Purpose Climate Lab identified the opportunity for an engaging public mobilisation campaign that called on candidates to pledge to powering Bihar with 100% Clean Energy.

Action

The Purpose Climate Lab developed a positive narrative around rebuilding the state’s sense pride, with clean energy at the heart of this renewal. Purpose Climate Lab worked with local celebrities, radio producers, rickshaw drivers and community groups to spread this message, and devised cutting edge missed call campaigns to connect citizens with candidates.

Purpose Climate Lab provided an innovation micro grant of $118,000 to Centre for Environment Energy Development (CEED) to fund offline content development, including e-rickshaw petitioning, the production of radio shows and street theatre.

Impact

The 100% Bihar campaign lead to ambitious policy change and infrastructure development: the government approved 70% subsidies for 3000 solar irrigation pump-sets and 6000 home lighting systems for rural and semi urban areas. This campaign has been replicated in Uttar Pradesh and Kenya.

Some more highlights:

The campaign secured 100+ stories in print media and additional across digital and radio stations. An ad was featured on the local ETV station (ranked #1 in regional media) over 45 days. 60,000 missed calls were registered to show citizen support for the campaign.

The campaign hosted workshops on climate change and clean energy practices across 27 schools in 5 districts of Bihar, reaching 9,400+ students. 58 street plays were held in 8 districts, reaching 18,000_ people.

The campaign’s renewable energy demands were included in the manifestos and campaign speeches of all political parties. 20 political meetings were hosted with party heads and other senior party members.