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Despite the availability of clean technology, the majority of the 1,500 billion bricks used each year are produced using polluting kilns.
Traditional brick production methods, in which clay bricks are fired using coal, wood or other biomass materials, are still commonly found in parts of Asia and Latin America. These methods are inefficient, requiring a lot of energy and top soil, and pose an important threat to health and the environment through the large amounts of particulate matter, black carbon, sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and other pollutants they release into the atmosphere.
The mitigation potential in the sector is signiﬁcant, with recent estimates showing that switching to more efficient technologies, mainly during brick ﬁring, can reduce pollutant emissions by more than 90% (IIASA GAINS, 2017), depending on the process, scale, and fuel used. These technologies would also bring additional social and economic benefits to brick producers and their communities, including safer working conditions, increased productivity, and improved agricultural yield.
Cleaning up traditional brick production methods requires regional and international coordination as well as greater awareness about the challenges specific to the sector. In 2012, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition launched its Bricks Initiative to support the modernisation of the brick sector, making kilns cleaner and more sustainable, while contributing to local economic development, improved health, and better working conditions.
Coalition partners are working to:
The Coalition’s Bricks Initiative is the only initiative of brick producers, experts, and public policy officials working together to reduce contamination from traditional brick production with the co-benefits of improved health, social, economic and labour conditions, reduced informality, and a general increase in the quality of life for workers and local communities residing at or near traditional brick kilns.
To achieve its objectives, the initiative provides:
The initiative has produced knowledge tools, pulicy guidance tools, brick kiln emission and efficiency standard protocols, and economic analyses to support a transition toward cleaner brick production.
This document presents results from the Climate & Clean Air Coalition’s Bricks Initiative reported between July 2016 and June 2017. These results were recorded using the Demonstrating...
This report is an overview of the Coalition's progress from 2016 to 2017 and, because it is our 5th anniversary, includes information on the status of short-lived climate pollutant emissions,...
Lead Partner: A Coalition partner with an active role in coordinating, monitoring and guiding the work of an initiative.
Implementer: A Coalition partner or actor receiving Coalition funds to implement an activity or initiative.
This assessment report looks into all aspects of anthropogenic emissions of black carbon and tropospheric ozone precursors, such as methane. It analyses the trends in emissions of these substances...
Produced as part of the CCAC Bricks Initiative, this factsheet/poster provides an overview of how to:
This report assesses the environmental, energy and financial performance of brick production in India. Drawing on this assessment, it provides short-term recommendations to improve brick kiln...
One of the tasks of the PAN LAC is to analyze and compile existing public policy frameworks for brick-related industries in Latin American countries, based on previous and current findings of the...
This training manual begins with a general overview of the dangers of black carbon to health and the climate and the impact of the brick sector in Latin America. The manual provides a range of...