Experts on Sunday highlighted the role of modern brick kilns in transforming multiple benefits including less pollution, low-carbon future, while exemplifying clean energy development needed for the world to successfully minimize climate change in the coming decades. More improved work can increase more efficient production, improved quality of life and opportunity, they said. Modern brick kilns are a model for the kind of development needed to achieve ‘World Bank Group Goals’ of ending severe poverty, increasing shared prosperity and transforming economies and societies to a low-carbon future,” said Sandrine Boukerche, a carbon finance expert at the World Bank, in a statement issued here. Brick production is a mainstay of the economy in developing countries like Siri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. As rapid urbanisation brings more construction and demand for bricks, the booming industry hires vulnerable workers at the traditional fixed chimney kilns concentrated around urban areas, Boukerche said. To a latest research study, some 8,000 traditional kilns emit an estimated 10 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2e) and other environmental particulate, pollutants into the atmosphere every year, causing a harmful-toxic impact on human health, agricultural yields and climate change. Meanwhile, environmental and climate experts, globally, are bringing together brick producers, public policy officials and experts to achieve substantial reductions of black carbon and hazardous emissions from the brick kilns by transforming it into more profitable, healthier and socially responsible industry, said noted environmentalist Mahmood Khalid Qamar. The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics recently revealed that the country has around 20,000 brick kilns. Most of the kilns are located in and around urban areas while contributing significantly to air pollution. Pakistan’s brick sector is not designed on modern features rather is highly unregulated and is responsible for 1.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Here, the traditional brick making method is used for hand-made bricks, which are baked in Fixed Chimney Bull’s Trench Kilns, an old method widely used for brick firing technology in South Asia, he said. 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, he informed. Dr. Mahmood Khalid Qamar 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, mostly made up of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide (CO2) nitrogen dioxide, sulfur oxides. Form of such particulate matter (PM) coming out of the gaseous material including black carbon and additional compounds, emitted from burning of coal and other fuels, he informed. The National Energy Efficient Conservation Authority (NEECA) and Environment Protection Department Punjab (EPD, Punjab) is working with the All Brick-Kiln Owners Association (ABKOA) of Pakistan to introduce environmentally friendly and cost-effective brick-kiln technology, said Shoaib Khan Niazi president of All Bricks Kiln Owners Association. The Environment Protection Department, Punjab (EPD, Punjab) is also working with National Energy Efficient Conversation Authority and All Brick Kiln Owners Association of Pakistan to introduce environmentally friendly and cost-effective brick kiln technology, Niazi added. To a query he informed that the project was being facilitated and supported by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Pakistan is a focus country for various global environment friendly Brick initiatives which creates and promotes improving environments that achieve sufficient reductions of black carbon and other emissions from the brick sector and transform it into a healthier, profitable and socially responsible industry. Furthermore, environmental experts say that carbon omission is the key reason behind deterioration of environment, however lack of forestation and plantation has caused a major cause to echo-degradation. Climate change and environmental coordination ministry senior official Muhammad Saleem told APP that as many as 49 out of total 63 conventional brick kilns located within the federal capital territory, which accounted for significant portion of choking air pollution, have been converted to zig-zag technology. To a query, he said that while four traditional brick kilns have been dismantled, and remaining 10 air-polluting traditional brick kilns are presently being shifted on to the environmentally-friendly modern, cleaner zig-zag technology. The official further stated that the traditional brick manufacturing sector significantly contributes to the country’s breath-choking air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, as such brick kilns relies on dirty energy sources for baking bricks, mainly coal, rubber and shoe soles as fuel, emitting lethal black carbon emissions into the atmosphere. But, now with the conversion to the zigzag technology the cleaner brick kilns technology would help reduce levels of the breath-choking carbon emissions by 60 percent and save their owners energy expenses by 30 percent, he added. “It’s indeed a great milestone the ministry of climate change and Environmental Coordination (MoCC&EC) and Pakistan Environmental Protection Agencies located at all provinces of the country and regions supported by the Islamabad administration and other stakeholders managed to achieve the milestone with well-coordinated efforts despite various bottlenecks to fight escalating problem of air pollution in the capital city and all provincial metropolis cities including rural areas,” the official Muhammad Saleem said. He highlighted that while most of the air-contaminating brick kilns were located in rural areas of the country, these adjoining areas would particularly benefit from the cleaner air after the conversion of the traditional kilns to the cleaner brick-making zigzag technology. Explaining about the traditional brick-making process, which is highly health and environmentally-damaging, Saleem said that such brick producing processes consist of hand-made bricks, which are baked in Fixed Chimney Bull’s Trench Kilns (FCBTK), a widely used brick firing technology in South Asian countries including Pakistan, ranked as the most contaminating techniques for brick production, resulting in myriad adverse social and environmental effects including air pollution, climate change, cardio-respiratory diseases, land use impacts and deforestation.