Background

The health impacts of air pollution around the world result in enormous human and economic losses.  The WHO estimates that air pollution accounted for around 6.9 million deaths, or over 10% of worldwide deaths.  Most of these deaths occur in developing countries, but air pollution is still responsible annually for about 135,000 early deaths in the United States.  The World Bank found that air pollution cost the U.S. economy over $450 billion in economic welfare losses, and the world economy over $5 trillion.  International emissions can also affect air quality in the United States.

 OES Air Quality Program

Foreign assistance funding for air quality leverages U.S. investment to drive long-term action by our partners (governments, international organizations, businesses, and NGOs). Current projects include:

  • A partnership to support testing and deployment of low-cost monitoring technologies in priority export markets;
  • Establishment of regional networks to convene governments, international organizations, NGOs, industry, and academia for air quality monitoring, training, and management;
  • A fellowship that pairs U.S. experts with foreign governments to provide air quality advice and share best practices, standards, and solutions.

Air Quality Monitoring Program

The Office of Policy, Right-sizing and Innovation’s (M/PRI) Greening Diplomacy Initiative leads the Department’s Air Quality Monitoring Program, which helps protect U.S. personnel overseas sharing air quality data from U.S.-made air quality monitors .    There are currently 35 monitors at U.S. posts, rising to 45 by summer 2019. The monitoring program has furthered U.S. diplomatic efforts by:

  • Enhancing the availability of real-time outdoor air quality data around the world;
  • Demonstrating U.S. best practices in monitoring technology and data analysis, as well as a platform for posts to raise awareness about air pollution; and
  • Strengthening partnerships with host countries, universities, and the private sector.
  • Posts access air quality-related resources through an internal Air Quality Hub.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future