The most critically important human activity contributing to emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG’s) and resulting climate variability and change is consumption of energy. Heavy dependence on fossil fuels as sources of energy production and inefficiency in the management of energy dependent activities are increasing the challenge of climate change induced weather scenarios such as flooding, drought, increased heat events and sea level rise. There is a need to develop the future planners and innovators who can contribute to reducing the carbon footprint. Then there is the urgent need of raising awareness levels and increasing capacity of key urban stakeholders on how renewable energy options can get implemented, how urban energy turnaround programs are developed and how stakeholders network for achieving the desired results.

The Project, funded by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, addresses this issue from various angles and the proposed project has three separate components that also find a critical interface.

  1. In the first project component – Sensitization of school going children on energy efficiency and renewable energy use – Sustainable Initiatives, in collaboration with School of Leadership (SoL), will implement a training program targeted at the teachers and children of ten (10) public schools (for the year 2015) spread across four (4) cities in Pakistan, namely, Karachi (4 schools), Lahore (2 schools), Peshawar (2 schools) and Islamabad (2 schools). Sustainable Initiatives will develop the training material to be used in the training of school teachers and children. The training material would be so designed that in a very interactive and simplified manner, sensitive messages and information on energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy use can be communicated. There will be more focus on use of models, visuals, artistic elements and other interactive techniques as the training support aids.
  2. In the second project component – Resource Efficient Urban Households – a total of four (4) residential neighborhoods, one (1) each in four (4) different cities of Pakistan, namely, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Rawalpindi will be selected and by forging a public-private partnership (2 relevant government officials/agencies and 2 civil society groups), Sustainable Initiatives would design and facilitate a process of consultations and brainstorming sessions (4 roundtable conferences – one in each city). In these sessions an overall strategic framework would be developed under which a customized policy, planning and implementation regime will be identified through which practices for energy efficiency (e.g. water, power) and promotion of renewable energy use can be recommended for implementation in the selected neighborhoods.
  3. In the third project component – Invoking the Right to Information (RTI) social accountability tool within the urban energy efficiency context – Sustainable Initiatives, in collaboration with Shehri-Citizens for a Better Environment, would invoke the social accountability tool of Right to Information (RTI) within the context of energy efficiency, targeting government institutions related with the energy sector. A total of ten (10) RTI applications will be filed, four (4) in Karachi, two (2) in Lahore, two (2) in Peshawar and two (2) in Islamabad