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Creating the foundations for change: why Clean Air Fund is investing in air quality data

Environment Programme / Partner story / Energy

Nine in ten of us are breathing air that is so dirty it damages our health, which the World Health Organization links to over four million premature deaths globally each year.

Yet only half of the world’s national governments produce air quality data in any capacity, and fewer than 40 per cent share real-time air quality data publicly. The problem is particularly acute in low- and middle-income regions. For example, only 6 per cent of children in Africa live near a reliable ground-level real-time air quality monitor, compared to 72 per cent of children in Europe and North America.

If we are to accelerate effective action on air pollution, we must improve the accessibility, usability and actionability of air quality data. That’s where the Clean Air Fund (CAF) comes in.

The Clean Air Fund’s new Data Strategy summarises how CAF will address this challenge. It establishes the grant-making areas CAF will support over the next three years to achieve its vision for data by 2030:

“By 2030, air quality data is globally ubiquitous: citizens understand the quality of the air that they breathe and every policymaker has good enough data on which they make informed decisions.”

By building coalitions across the field, CAF hopes to support the growth of the global air quality data ecosystem to a level of sophistication that gives decision makers and citizens access to ubiquitous, real-time and free access to air quality data.

CAF is inviting funders to work with it in achieving its goals and also invite those working in the air quality data field to share their ideas and innovative approaches to contribute towards the objectives of the strategy.

If you can help deliver the goals of Clean Air Fund’s data strategy, please get in touch with CAF at You can find out more about the strategy here. This work falls under our Environment Programme, which believes in safeguarding our future by restoring our connection to nature, and changing the ways we feed and fuel our world. You can find out more about our programme strategy here.