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10 Mar 2022 | Press releases

FCDO and ICIMOD collaborate with the Pakistan Ministry of Climate Change to generate data on brick industry emissions

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Malik Amin Aslam, Hon’ble Minister and Special Advisor to Prime Minister, Ministry of Climate Change inaugurates the handover ceremony.

On March 4 2022, the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) Pakistan and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) officially handed over the Ratnoze emission measurement instrument and accessories to the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), Pakistan. Following the handover, FCDO and ICIMOD announced that the partnership will continue to provide training on intensive stack emissions measurement at brick kilns and instrument operation and maintenance to staff of the Environment Protection Agency, Environment Protection Department in Punjab, and researchers.

The Ministry of Climate Change, National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA), Brick Kiln Owners Association of Pakistan (BKOAP), the British High Commission in Pakistan, and ICIMOD have been working together to set up vital instrumentation to enable government agencies to monitor air quality. The Ratnoze instrument is vital for generating data and evidence for research, for informed policy decisions, and for consistent monitoring and reporting on emissions reduction. In this regard, the British High Commission supported the purchase of a Ratnoze emission measurement instrument with all the required accessories. A deed of transfer was signed by MoCC, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), and ICIMOD.

Malik Amin Aslam, Hon’ble Minister and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Ministry of Climate Change stated that the government will continue monitoring emissions and will look into adding more Ratnoze equipment. This will help tackle air pollution from the brick sector, which is an important aspect of the complicated smog issue in Punjab. He also stressed the need for greater regional cooperation and said that Government of Pakistan is ready to host the Malé Declaration meeting to help the region respond to air pollution as a common goal.

Alex Ballinger, Director of Development at the British High Commission in Islamabad said, “This is a great step to modernize climate machinery to measure emissions. The brick production industry is estimated to contribute around 1.5% to the Gross Domestic Product of the country, employs tens of thousands of people, and affects the whole country’s environment. This industry is only going to grow further, so it is critical to implement systems that ensure clean and green environment.”

Izabella Koziell, Deputy Director General at ICIMOD stated that it was an important moment to be handing over the instrument to the Government of Pakistan for consistent monitoring of emissions from the brick industry. She noted that this will be a major step forward in supporting the process of more informed policy making.

Worldwide, 1.5 billion hand-molded bricks are fired in rudimentary kilns every year. Typically heated using coal, these kilns contribute to 20 percent of the world’s black carbon emissions. Some 90 percent of this production is in China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and in Bangladesh. Their contribution to pollution is dramatic: In some South Asian cities, they’re responsible for up to 91 percent of particulate matter emissions, a major component of the air pollution that kills some 7 million people around the world every year . The zig-zag brick production technology not only mitigates the issue of black carbon that cause black smog, but also reduces overall air pollution. In recent years, there has been rapid transformation of Pakistan’s traditional brick sector into a cleaner, energy efficient industry. According to the PDMA Punjab, more than 7,000 traditional brick kilns in Punjab have been converted using the zig-zag technology, reducing the amount of carbon emissions. With the adoption of this technology, it is now crucial to consistently monitor and measure emissions reduction from the industry to properly ascertain improvements in air quality and other positive impacts on lives and livelihoods. These interventions also support Pakistan’s Nationally Determined Contributions and Sustainable Development Goals as the country is the third-largest brick producer in Asia. They also support Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision for a Clean Green Pakistan.

Under ICIMOD’s FCDO-funded Clean Brick Initiative, the project “Towards Cleaner Brick Production in Pakistan” seeks to share lessons from the Nepali brick industry’s successful transformation and showcase climate compatible brick production in Pakistan. In close collaboration and coordination with MoCC, NEECA, and BKOAP, ICIMOD has conducted skills transfer training for brick sector stakeholders in Punjab, Pakistan since 2017.

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