NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Introducing Renewable Energy Solutions to Enhance Energy Security and Build Climate Resilience in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan [NDF C82 B5]

Photo: Rukhsana Memon, WWF-Pakistan.
A woman using wood for fuel at Ibrahim Hyderi, Karachi.
Photo: Asif Sandeelo, WWF-Pakistan.
Karachi at a glance.
Photo: Rukhsana Memon, WWF-Pakistan.
Project area of Ibrahim Hyderi at glance.
Photo: Asif Sandeelo, WWF-Pakistan.
Karachi at a glance.
Photo: Naveed Soomro, WWF-Pakistan.
Tidal flooding in Karachi coast.
The project will diversify the energy mix of one of the largest and fastest growing cities in Pakistan that is particularly vulnerable to climate change, and plan to do it through the implementation of a low-carbon Renewable Energy- based climate strategy.

Introducing Renewable Energy Solutions to Enhance Energy Security and Build Climate Resilience in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Ref: NDF C82 B5

Nordic partner: WWF Sweden
Local partner: World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan
Other partner: Karachi Electric
Total project cost: EUR 748,328
NCF financing: EUR 492,636
Agreement signed: 12 July 2016
Project classification: combination
Duration: 26 months

Project objective

Enhanced energy security and climate resilience, through technology transfer from the Nordic region  to Karachi, which will contribute to improved energy access, diversified livelihoods, improved health, better climate adaptation capacity, women empowerment, and facilitate the city’s transition to renewable energy-focused, low-carbon development.

Main results/outputs

  1. Improved access to renewable energy and enabling environment for replication (Target: 1.01 MW Increase in energy production from RE + 72,365 tCO2 decrease in carbon emissions due to RE solutions by 2036)
  2. Women empowerment (Target: To be identified by the socioeconomic expert only after initial socioeconomic assessment, during inception phase of the project)
  3. Poverty alleviation and improved quality of life (Target: Change (%) in socioeconomic conditions of target community - to be identified by the socioeconomic expert only after initial socioeconomic assessment, during inception phase of the project)
  4. Potential scale-up based on business plans and information exchange (Target: Increase in private sector investment in RE solutions: To be identified by the project economist after an initial analysis during inception phase of the project)



The project focuses on the generation of renewable energy for two selected communities that face poverty and power outages through the development and implementation of a low-carbon Renewable Energy-based (RE) climate strategy. In order to ensure success, the project aims to engage stakeholders at multiple levels through (1) making possible the involvement of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation  (KMC), in the Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) programme, (2) involvement of communities of Ibrahim Hyderi and Maripur in testing renewable energy solutions for sustained access to energy and decision-making through cooperatives for opportunities to start home-based businesses, and (3) facilitating dialogue for development of business plans to encourage private sector investments in RE.

For this project, WWF Sweden and WWF Pakistan will take the roles of lead applicant and local partner respectively.

The primary focus of the EHCC is on city actions that help move investment flows from fossil fuels to renewable and sustainable energy solutions. Its objective meets the theme for NCF.  Karachi will participate in the challenge to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector. Through this challenge, KMC will be able to enhance its capacity for monitoring and reporting of carbon emissions from the power sector.  It will also be able to showcase to the world its efforts to develop urban resilience to climate change.

The project also addresses cross-cutting themes of women empowerment, reduced exposure of communities to indoor pollutants, improved waste management and providing alternate means of livelihoods for communities (e.g. with service microbusinesses such as battery charging) – all contributing to an improved quality of life for project beneficiaries. The project will cater to underprivileged communities to enhance their climate resilience and improve their quality of life through pilot testing of two renewable energy solutions.

Before the installation of these solutions, the community will be mobilised to form 10 Women Cooperative (Co-Ops) and four Citizen Organisations (COs).    These groups will be trained and expected to raise awareness about segregating waste, reducing dependence on fuel wood and the benefits of using renewable energy.

In addition, the project includes a plantations project, where mangrove saplings and other trees will be planted with the targeted communities taking ownership of the plantations.  The plantations will be carried on in the period between June, July and August for each year of the project, which are generally the most favourable months for the activity. 

Relevance for climate change

Pakistan faces a high level of climate change impacts and has been ranked in the top 3 most affected country by climate change in the recent past. Since the 2010 floods, Pakistan has finalised its climate change policy and is exploring RE options and implementing adaptation activities. Current national policy document includes measures aimed at electricity generation such as promoting development of renewable energy resources and technologies such as solar, wind, geothermal and bio-fuel energy; installing plants to generate power from municipal waste; promoting and providing incentives for activities required for shift in energy-mix and fuel switching program to low-carbon fossil fuels. The project addresses climate change through both mitigation and adaptation actions. The project is contributing towards mitigating carbon emissions by encouraging a shift away from the use of traditional fossil and wood fuel sources in energy production and moving towards renewable sources. Local communities will benefit from increased resilience by strengthening their adaptive capacity through the re-cultivation of lost mangroves, and being less reliant on on-grid solutions by generating power through renewable sources that would leave them less vulnerable to energy shocks, provide alternative economic livelihoods and improve health and general living standards.

Innovation aspects

The renewable energy options being investigated represent technologies and processes developed in Nordic countries 1, which are not currently being implemented in Pakistan e.g. pay-as-you-go solar units. Biogas technology exists and is used within Pakistan; however, it is based on traditional fuel sources (manure) while organic waste  is underutilised. Utilising organic waste, which comprises almost 55% of the waste in Karachi, will represent an entirely new source to fuel the biogas plants and will demonstrate a new approach to enabling bio-gas technology and waste management. Further supporting the city of Karachi to develop a renewable energy-based low-carbon development strategy and assess its performance through the EHCC would be a first for a Pakistani city. Such a strategy would guide future activities and provide a long-term road map for reduced emissions. 

More information

WWF’s City Challenge website
World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan
Karachi Electric

1 One example of this is BrighterLite, a Nordic company developing RE solutions (www.brighterlite.com & www.brighterlite.co.pk)