Saturday, February 21, 2015

US Embassies Monitoring Air Quality in Multiple Countries

In 2008, American diplomats in Beijing quietly installed an electronic monitor outside the U.S. Embassy to test pollution levels in the Chinese capital’s famously sooty air. The results, posted daily on the Internet, were mainly intended for U.S citizens and visitors, but soon ordinary Chinese were logging in for reliable information about health threats in the air they breathed. Chinese officials complained, but the daily reports from the embassy’s monitor added to the pressure that eventually led China to take dramatic steps to reduce smog. It worked so well, in fact, that the Obama administration has now decided on a major expansion — to U.S. diplomatic missions all around the world.

In a joint announcement on Wednesday, Secretary of State John F. Kerry and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy unveiled plans to place air-quality monitors outside embassies in numerous foreign cities, starting with diplomatic posts in India and then moving to Vietnam, Mongolia and other countries.

Read more @ Washington Post

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