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Cities will be key to a low carbon, resilient global economy able to address and adapt to climate change. Many are emerging as leaders cutting emissions and greening infrastructure. Photo ©Pline

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In Peru, artisanal brick makers have historically used inefficient fuels--wood, tires, plastics and so forth--in inefficient kilns. This approach contributes to air pollution, deforestation and water quality. Also, as brick makers migrate from rural to urban areas, their kilns impact urban air quality and the health of a city's residents.

Since 2010, Energy Efficiency in Artisanal Brick Kilns in Latin America (EELA) has been training brick makers how to use energy-efficient brick kilns, and how to use better, cleaner fuels to fire bricks. The project was financed by SDC and implemented by Swisscontact. In 2012, the project was recognized as a Lighthouse Activity by the UNFCCC's Momentum for Change initiative.

In this podcast, we talk to Swisscontact's Jon Bickel about reducing the carbon footprint of traditional brick-making in Peru. By installing new, energy-efficient kilns, brick-producers have cut down their fuel consumption and carbon emissions by almost 50 percent, while increasing their incomes.

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition , an voluntary initiative of governments, the UN and NGOs, have made brick kilns a key target for cutting pollution including so called short-lived climate pollutants like black carbon. This part of the coalition's work is lead by Colombia, Mexico and Switzerland.

Listen to the interview and subscribe to the Momentum for Change podcast.

 

For more information about brick production and climate change, check out this infographic (PDF) from UNEP.

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