The party’s nearly over. COP23, the 23rd UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, wraps up this week in Bonn. Emphasis has been on ensuring that nations ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement can meet standards limiting global warming to 2 degrees celsius—but air quality issues were also on the table.

Fiji assumed presidency of the conference this time around, making them the first Pacific island country to preside over the event.

All eyes were on Bonn to see if an agreement could be reached on how to implement the Paris Climate Accords—especially since US President Donald Trump’s controversial announcement of his intention to withdraw from the agreement.

Worldwide problems require international solutions, and air pollution—which kills more than 7 million people a year across the planet—certainly qualifies. Open air quality data is more important than ever.

Just like the 25,000 delegates in Bonn, Plume Labs is looking to the future. We’re maintaining a personal and individual focus on air quality data while striving for global coverage.

Now that we are providing critical live and forecast air quality data for every city in the world with Air Report, we’re continuing to make our data even more personal and hyper-local.

Very soon you’ll be able to add your own readings to our global air quality data platform and map the air quality in your own city and neighborhood thanks to Flow, our smart air quality tracker.

So how’s the air?

The air quality situation in Germany is a mixed bag. On the one hand, Chancellor Angela Merkel has recently doubled available funding for German cities to tackle air pollution issues.

On the other, unlike several European neighbours, Germany has been reluctant to set specific targets for banning diesel cars—partly due to pressure from a thriving automobile industry.

Out of 28 EU member states, Germany is reported to have the highest number of deaths attributed annually to air pollution—estimated at over 80,000.

Despite strong intentions from the German government to phase out coal use and transition to renewable energy, two of Europe’s biggest coal mines—Garzweiler and Hambach—are located in the same region as Bonn.

Germany’s continued use of coal is something that NGOs were keen to highlight during the COP23 climate conference—and some weren’t too happy with Merkel’s lack of clear words on the subject during her conference speech.

Feature spotlight

With the latest update to the Plume Air Report, it’s easy to make instant comparisons between Bonn’s air quality and that of the air back home. Add multiple cities to your list of favorite locations, then easily cycle between them by swiping left and right.

It’s also easy to draw comparisons between them thanks to our Plume AQI. This universal yardstick draws on safe exposure thresholds as defined by the World Health Organisation. That means the scale applies no matter the country or pollutant in question. 💪

In the news

Part conference, part carnival, COP23 has drawn media coverage from all over the world—and has been subject to rigorous debate.

While the Trump Administration was keen to promote the benefits of coal as a solution to climate change (🤔), countries such as France and the UK took aim at the US with pledges to make up for their shortfall.