Brick production is still an ancient practice in many countries, where bricks are produced in artisanal kilns fueled by coal, wood, dung and other biomass materials. As a result, voluminous amounts of black carbon are spewed into the atmosphere, contaminating the air, water and earth along with the lungs of millions of people who work or live near the kilns. Black carbon has 460-1,500 times more warming potential than CO2.

Most brick production takes place in Asia. For example, there are more than 100,000 kilns in India, producing between 150 and 200 million bricks annually, and almost 20 billion bricks produced annually in Bangladesh. Some of these kilns have been operating for more than a century. Latin America also has a considerable number of brick production facilities, from an estimated 300 in Chile, to between 8 and 10 thousand in Peru, to approximately 17,000 in Mexico.

Recent studies show that implementing more efficient technologies, mainly during the firing of bricks, can result in reductions of pollutant emissions from 10 to 50%, depending on the process, scale and fuel used. The transition to modern, energy-efficient and environment friendly practices of brick-making is not an easy task as tradition and poverty militate against change. New approaches involve not only new technology but also economic incentives and new regulatory and public policies.



There are significant opportunities to improve local and regional air quality, provide economic benefits to communities, and reduce adverse health impacts in adjacent communities by improving brick production process via regional and international coordination to raise awareness about the importance of this issue. CCAC partners work to leverage high-level political will in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Africa to identify possibilities for brick kiln mitigation and establish a mechanism to share information. Change will require transfer of knowledge from countries that have transitioned to modern brick production, and it is critical to tackle this complex issue from a cross-sectoral and inter-agency perspective.

To achieve its objectives, the CCAC Brick Production initiative is working on:

  • Developing and establishing of global expert groups to consolidate the state of knowledge on science, technology, and policy
  • Training to build capacity of key actors on technology adoption
  • Support of governments on development and implementation of comprehensive policies to modernize the sector
  • Information development and dissemination


Initiative contacts

Catalina Etcheverry
Catalina.Etcheverry [at] un.org

Pollutants (SLCPs)


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.

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Partners (11)



2017 | Online Training & Materials
, Energy Efficiency Program for Brick Producers in Latin America to mitigate Climate Change (EELA)

This network for brick producers serves to support the exchange of knowledge under the program: "Energy efficiency for brick producers in Latin America to mitigate climate change-EELA...

Red Ladrilleras - Information network for brick producers
2012 | Reports, Case Studies & Assessments
Greentech Knowledge Solutions, Enzen Global Solutions, University of Illinois, Clean Air Task Force, Entec AG.

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...

2012 | Scientific Publications
GACC Research Report: Abhishek Kar, Ibrahim H. Rehman, Jennifer Burney, S. Praveen Puppala, Ramasubramanyaiyer Suresh, Lokendra Singh, Vivek K. Singh, Tanveer Ahmed, Nithya Ramanathan, Veerabhadran Ramanathan

This report looks into the use of improved (biomass) cookstoves (ICs) as a Black Carbon (BC) mitigation measure with significant climate and health benefits. ICs encompass a range of technologies...

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