As part of the Humanity Hub’s first seasonal programming theme, focusing on COVID responses, we will share insights by members of the Humanity Hub community and the Hague Peace & Justice ecosystem. This week, we are spotlighting Space4Good‘s insights on the impact of COVID-19 as observed from space.

With the slowing of human mobility – and as a result, economic activity – across the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic, air pollution has declined significantly in several countries.

Space4Good has teamed up with the World Bank to assess local air quality indicators (AQI). In many cases, these are a mainstay in many people’s lives – checking the local AQI levels on their smartphones just as they would check the weather. The measurement of one of the air quality components – nitrogen dioxide, or NO2 – is seeing a paradigm shift in real-time data measurement through remote sensing.

While NO2 satellite measures have been discussed widely during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is much that can be done to make this information more accessible and meaningful to local citizens and policy- and decision-makers across the world.