Karachi’s Skyscrapers To Go Green?

Mustafa Kamal was not in the city this weekend as we braced seeing our city being turned into a virtual battle field, and though I remain a fierce critic of this government’s general fondness for making foreign tours left, right and centre, for once I’m not going to jump the bandwagon. Kamal had gone to New York to attend the 2nd meeting of the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit called on by the former American president Bill Clinton, and though he was originally scheduled to return on the 20th of May, Kamal cut his trip short and returned yesterday after the weekend’s tragic events. This morning, searching going through my Google New Alerts for Karachi, I came across this detailed report from CBS which had more information on the happenings of the NY summit.

Sixteen cities from around the world will begin cutting carbon emissions by renovating city-owned buildings with green technology under a program spearheaded by former President Clinton’s foundation. Major global banking institutions have committed $1 billion to finance the upgrades of municipal buildings in participating cities. The makeovers will include replacing heating, cooling and lighting systems with energy-efficient networks; making roofs white or reflective to deflect more of the sun’s heat; sealing windows and installing new models that let more light in; and setting up sensors to control more efficient use of lights and air conditioning. Clinton’s foundation said the planned changes have the potential to reduce energy use by 20 to 50 percent in those buildings. The reduction could mean a significant decrease in heat-trapping carbon emissions, as well as cost savings on utility bills.

The other cities in the project along with Karachi are New York, Chicago, Houston, Toronto, Mexico City, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Delhi, Seoul, Bangkok, Melbourne, Sao Paolo and Johannesburg, all of them collectively cover less than 1 percent of the Earth’s surface but are overwhelmingly responsible for polluting it, generating 80 percent of heat-trapping greenhouse gases! More cities, the report added, may join in after the first round of the project.

It may be too much of a pipe dream to hope that something like this will bear immediate results and solve all of Karachi’s energy problems as a whole, especially when the program assumes that “cities already have money in their budgets set aside for building operations” and will “pay back loans, plus interest, through the energy savings that the projects achieve over several years” but at least this is a start. And if you’re willing to trust the report, some of the more basic work surrounding what is not doubt an ambitious project, like bank paperwork and energy audits, could start as soon as this summer. You have to wonder in that case which Karachi municipal buildings would get the makeover. No harm in dreaming, is there?

23 Comments so far

  1. Anon (unregistered) on May 16th, 2007 @ 6:54 pm

    I saw the report, also heard this on the radio this morning at a local station here in Houston. Thanks for posting this, my first thought was “is anyone representing Karachi, after all it is one of the largest cities in the world”. So thanks again.

    The focus is to reduce green house gases, lower emissions and reduce the C02 that we send out into the atmosphere. The consumer is no where near concious of this, not in karachi at least but the city mayor can take actions which is the first step.

    -create awareness; this is the FIRST step
    -introduce emissions testing; yes it sounds far fetched for now but it is doable.
    -electricity conversation programs; start with goverment offices and show the B/F’s to businesses. Offer a cash incentive if companies can prove a lower consumption.

    I think there is A LOT that can be done, and I believe it will be done but like any major change, it will take its time. I predict it will be another 5 years till people invest in Hybrid vehicles, although solar powered vehicles would work better in karachi since the sun is almost always out.

    Excellent post Zainub.

  2. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on May 16th, 2007 @ 7:52 pm

    it would be great if something like this happens in karachi.

    i just hope that the money would be well spent and no commision would be given to the Pir of Lunden!

  3. SELF (unregistered) on May 16th, 2007 @ 7:56 pm

    Is this the solution to Karachi’s most urgent problems? What about education for 100% of kids and medical for all? Most of all what about law and order?

    Just because he has returned from Clinton Foundation conference this is on his mind. All other cities included are much more developed anyway in terms of civil infrastructure and facilities.

  4. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on May 16th, 2007 @ 8:22 pm

    if the money is comming from Abroad i won’t mind:)

    poverty is even present in US Cities!

    just check out the poverty leevels in some US cities and u would find it to be almost similar to many third world countries!!

  5. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on May 16th, 2007 @ 8:26 pm

    comming to the cjp issue just check out the following Mush speech……i can’t believe he said all that (maybe it was added by somone):

    he say that this chief justice ko marnay chahiyaa….etc


  6. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on May 16th, 2007 @ 8:39 pm

    i just can’t believ he said that!

    “if” it’s authentic then it’s incitemet to murder of the CJP!

    I just have a feeling that some has edited his speech and jumbled his words a bit, which were not that nice in any case, to sound like that.

    but if there is any record of this speech then it would be damning!!

  7. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on May 16th, 2007 @ 8:44 pm

    i just cannot believe the Mush would say such a thing in public.

    maybe someone has edited his words and made it look like this.

    but if someone can find the record of that speech then it would be adamning indictment!

    he “APPERAS” to be clearly calling for the murder of the CJP!!

  8. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on May 16th, 2007 @ 9:26 pm

    lets not mix Global Warming and CJ/Mush issue :-)

  9. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on May 16th, 2007 @ 10:52 pm


    pls just hear his speech on the above link!

    global warming will kill us slowly but this Busharraf will kell pakistan very soon, if not stopped!

  10. d0ct0r (unregistered) on May 16th, 2007 @ 11:26 pm

    @Petarian its authentic audio.. Mush said all that in his speech with Pervaiz ellahi… i think it was at sahiwal..

  11. Anon (unregistered) on May 16th, 2007 @ 11:54 pm

    Why are we talking about politics again, this is NOT about politics!

    Each issue has its level or importance and urgency. Reduction of C02 emissions and converving electricity helps reduce outages in the city which in turn does help everyone.

    “Is this the solution to Karachi’s most urgent problems? What about education for 100% of kids and medical for all? Most of all what about law and order?”

    There is no reason why all of these issues can’t be worked on together through difference channels and organizations. ALL these issues are important. All of them can be worked on at the same time.

  12. zs (unregistered) on May 16th, 2007 @ 11:54 pm

    do we really need all these new skyscrapers and fantasy islands that are being planned? i think recent events are clear indication that all this money is MUCH better invested in first trying to tackle the massive energy crisis in karachi and improving law and order rather than creating more monstrosities that will only make the energy and political crisis even worse.

  13. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 12:18 am


    now iam 100% sure that the SC registrar was killed on MUSH’s orders.

    he willmost probably get the cjp killed too!

    Mush sounded soo much like Altaf, albiet with a punjabi accent:)

  14. Anon (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 12:19 am

    ZS – please read the report; it is not about building skyscrapers in Karachi.

  15. zainub (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 12:56 am


    This is friendly remind that could get stern, please keep it on topic. Irrelevant comments are as good as spam and in future shall be treated as such.

  16. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 1:00 am

    oops!! sorry Z:)

    Y don’t u post a topic for this. afterall it is a valid point. more valid then most of the topics discussed on KMB!

  17. zainub (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 1:07 am

    I understand your point Petarian, but this is a blog about Karachi, so we have to discuss topics that are related to Karachi. There are several threads discussing the events of 5/11, you’re free to discuss Mushy’s speech over there, they’ll be less off topic then they are here, on a thread about climate change and energy conservation in Karachi. Thanks for understanding :)

  18. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 1:57 am

    yeah, there is a difference between global warming and political warming :-)

    That’s the other story that global warming has become a political issue.

  19. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 2:09 am


    okey dokey madam!

  20. redsnapper (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 11:47 pm

    Great post, Zainub.

  21. Halim Chishtie (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 1:44 am

    I thought the spelling was SKYSCRAPER..check with spellcheck!Judging by my recent vist to Karachi it needs a massive reduction in NOISE POLLUTION, obviously any initiatve to reduce CO2 emissions is to be welcomed!

  22. zainub (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 2:05 am


    The spelling mistake was a typo, thanks for pointing it out, its been corrected.

  23. Halim Chishtie (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 2:16 am

    @Zainub, now thts what I call dedication, to be up at 2 AM ,updating! Oops is this off-topic?

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