Press & Media

Michael Bloomberg and Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, Launch Joint Project to Monitor Air Pollution in Paris Schools

The program aims to strengthen air quality control in Paris through the deployment of cutting-edge sensors in schools and daycare centers

PARIS, FRANCE – Today, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) Michael R. Bloomberg joined Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, at a primary school in central Paris[i] to launch a project between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the City of Paris to better understand and improve air quality at schools throughout the city.

The pilot program aims to test new tools and spur innovation in air quality management by deploying cutting-edge sensory technology to help measure air quality in more detail. Under the program, 150 micro-sensors of various air pollutants will be installed at daycare centers, primary and secondary schools in September 2019 to coincide with the beginning of the new school year. New information and insights on air quality will be collected, analyzed and integrated into the existing air quality monitoring and mapping system operated by project partner Airparif. Starting from September 2019, families will have access to accurate, real-time data on air quality at the facilities and care institutions frequented by their children, made available via an interactive mapping tool published on Paris.fr.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that ambient air pollution accounts for around 4.2 million deaths worldwide each year, and 91% of the world’s population lives in areas that exceed the air pollution limits outlined by WHO. In France, air pollution is responsible for 48,000 deaths a year, according to a study by France’s national health agency, including 6,500 deaths in greater Paris alone.

“With more than 90% of the world’s city residents breathing unhealthy air, reducing air pollution is essential to saving lives and protecting our communities,” said Michael R. Bloomberg. “This partnership with Mayor Hidalgo and the City of Paris will open up promising possibilities for improving air quality in our cities, and accelerate progress in the fight against air pollution.”

This project is part of wider efforts Paris is putting in place to improve its air quality. “We are truly determined to improve air quality in our cities; we are facing a health emergency,” said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40. “Implementing policy that improves air quality has a positive impact, both concrete and direct, on citizens’ health. In Paris, we have pledged to put an end to polluting vehicles by 2030, with the prohibition of diesel vehicles in 2024 and we are coordinating alternatives to individual polluting cars for Parisians and City commuters. I believe that a collective response can rapidly improve air quality. I aim to make Paris the first “breathable City” accredited by WHO, by halving the number of days exceeding the pollution threshold.”

In addition to Airparif, Bloomberg Philanthropies will engage international partners to implement the project, bringing together best-in-class air pollution research, sensory technology and data-driven policy design. This includes a team of leading air pollution experts at King’s College London Environmental Research Group that will provide technical assistance and identify synergies between similar initiatives in Paris and London, and Clarity, a California-based technology company that specializes in next-generation air quality monitoring technology.

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About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 510 cities and 129 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $767 million. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Twitter.

 Media Contact: Natalie Harland, nharland1@bloomberg.net

[i] Located at 216 rue la Fayette (10th district)