Among others, air pollution is perhaps the most pressing global environmental issue deteriorating public health and economies, especially in developing countries including Pakistan. In order to eradicate this hazard, a lot of countries are taking concrete measures such as introducing no-car zones (in specific areas) by providing better public transport and avoiding reliance on cars. Likewise, globally, environmental and climate experts are bringing together brick producers, public policy officials and experts to achieve a substantial reduction of black carbon and hazardous emissions from the brick kilns by transforming them into a more profitable, healthier and socially responsible Zigzag technology industry. Zigzag technology is a new method of firing bricks in a kiln that uses a modern design to reduce Carbon and Sulfur emissions of pollutant particles, making it efficient. In this technology, the bricks are arranged in a zigzag pattern. Flue gas recirculates through the bricks, which leads to a more efficient burning process. According to the World Air Quality Index, Pakistan, unfortunately, has ranked as one of the world’s most polluted countries, however, the incumbent government is making various considerable efforts to protect the environment. Conversion of brick kilns, across the province of Punjab, into zigzag technology which is more environmentally and eco-friendly than traditional brick kilns is a good omen in this regard. Environment Protection Department Director Naseem Ur Rehman told APP that Punjab was home to approximately 7,896 brick kilns, mostly located near or inside urban areas. He said with Punjab province completely converting to zigzag technology, the air index quality could further be improved if all the remaining kilns in the country were also shifted to a similar technology design. “This new technology reduces these toxic carbon emissions by 60 percent and also saves 30 percent of energy,” Naseem added. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data reveals that the country has around 20,000 traditional brick kilns, which are mostly located in and around urban areas and use fuels that after burning emit lethal omissions including black carbon soot and gasses, contributing significantly to climate change and air pollution. Due to increased smog during the months of September and October, the Punjab Government didn’t allow the owners of Fixed Chimney Bulls Trench Kiln (FCBTK) to run their kilns resulting in the loss of millions of rupees. The traditional brick-making method is mostly used in Pakistan for hand-made bricks, which are baked in Fixed Chimney Bull’s Trench Kilns. This method is one of the most polluting ways to produce bricks, responsible for many social and environmental issues including climate change, air pollution, deforestation, land use impacts, cardio-respiratory diseases and deforestation. Dr Mahmood Khalid Qamar, a noted environmentalist told APP that different types of fuel burning make it difficult to identify exactly the formulation of air pollutants emitted by the brick-kiln sector. “Nonetheless, these intoxicated pollutants are extremely hazardous for both human health and biodiversity, as they are mostly made up of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen dioxide and sulfur oxides,” he informed. Brick-making using the traditional method had a lot of adverse effects which was why it had become obsolete in advanced countries. The black smoke emerging from the top of the chimney was a result of incomplete combustion releasing more toxic gases containing carbon in the air, Dr Mahmood added. As a result of incomplete combustion, air pollutants like Sulphur Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Nitrogen Dioxide, forms of particulate matter (PM) including black carbon, and additional compounds produced by burning coal and other fuels were exposed to the environment, he elaborated. The National Energy Efficient Conservation Authority (NEECA) and Environment Protection Department Punjab (EPD, Punjab) were working with the All Brick-Kiln Owners Association (ABKOA) of Pakistan to introduce environment-friendly and cost-effective brick-kiln technology, said Shoaib Khan Niazi, President All Bricks Kiln Owners Association. Moreover, EPD, Punjab was also working with the National Energy Efficient Conversation Authority and All Brick Kiln Owners Association of Pakistan in that regard, he added. Niazi informed that the project was being facilitated and supported by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Previously, these kilns were using energy from fossil fuels which have a huge injurious impact on the nearby urban or rural population. “Kilns established closer to cities and villages increase the chances of cardio-respiratory and vascular diseases,” said Pulmonologist Dr Zeeshan Ali of Jinnah Hospital. Rubber, coal and shoe soles were among the major sources of fuel to run these Kilns which inevitably cause carbon emissions having a damaging impact on climate, he said, adding in hilly areas the black mass evolving from the kiln-chimneys was black carbon which when quotes a layer of snow, increase its melting rate manifolds.