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Despite the availability of clean technology, the majority of the 1,500 billion bricks used each year are produced in 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%, 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:
Funding from our Bricks initiative has provided learning materials, public guidance tools, brick kiln emission and efficiency standard protocols, and economic analyses to support cleaner brick production in brick producing countries. Our achievements include:
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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