The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched the largest ever air quality data platform to encourage governments to take action and improve policy when it comes to air pollution.
Access to air quality data varies dramatically even within a single city and with air pollution responsible for 7 million deaths each year, the UN has has said that there is an urgent need to close the information gap when it comes to air pollution.
The air quality platform has been launched by UNEP in collaboration with UN-Habitat and the Swiss air quality technology company IQAir.
The platform currently receives real-time data from more than 4,000 providers (including governments) and has a following of more than 15 million users.
The platform builds on IQAir’s technology to validate and calibrate air quality data that until now has been restricted to individually run websites or apps.
It is hoped that this data will empower governments to take action to improve policies and also encourage citizens to make more informed health choices.
Joyce Msuya, deputy executive director of UNEP said: ‘Air pollution is a public health and environmental emergency that affects everyone, everywhere.
‘We are excited to be launching this partnership with UN-Habitat and IQ Air to bring information and, importantly, encourage action by citizens, governments and the private sector.
Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, said: ‘Poor air quality is a problem that affects urban populations particularly seriously so the ability to measure and take action to improve the health of those living in our towns and cities is critical.’
IQAir CEO Frank Hammes: ‘We recognise that some of the world’s most vulnerable communities are disproportionately affected by poor air quality.
‘Through our partnership with UNEP and UN-Habitat, we empower more citizens, communities and governments around the world to monitor their air quality with low-cost air pollution sensors and make the changes necessary to breathe cleaner, healthier air.’
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