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Biomass Project

for Soacha, Colombia

Fossil-fuel phase-out in a coal paradise

Soacha is a fast-growing suburb in the metropolitan area of Bogotá. Young people from rural areas try their luck there; others had to leave their villages during the civil war. Countless simple mudbrick houses are being built, and brick kilns make a good living. Since coal is cheaply available in Colombia, nearly all of the region's 40 brickworks use it to fire their kilns.

Except for the Santander brickyard, that is. Its owner, Miguel Diaz, has converted his business so that it operates modern, energy-efficient kilns – and he also runs them with up to 80 percent renewable biomass. This way, the brickyard saves 18,000 tons of carbon emissions each year.

This exclusive ClimatePartner carbon offset project was the first project in Colombia to receive Gold Standard certification.

How do biomass projects help fight global warming?

Biomass projects involve energy being created from renewable biomass, which could be coconut shells, sawdust, wood chips, the residue of sugar cane processing, bamboo or wood from sustainable sources. No trees are felled, or fossil fuels burned, so no CO2 is emitted. As an additional greenhouse gas reduction measure, such projects mostly involve preventing biomass from rotting in the open air, so that no methane (CH4) is released.

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