According to the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), air pollution is returning to China after a Covid-19 lockdown low, new satellite images show.
Air pollution is the biggest environmental health risk in Europe, with the problem greatest in cities, according to the EEA. Air pollution is a strong driver of lung and heart conditions, which are being linked to higher Covid-19 death rates. Particulate matter (PM), Nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) and ground-level ozone cause the most harm and lead to about 400,000 premature deaths annually. NO₂ comes mainly from transport and industry, while domestic heating and agriculture are also important sources of PM. There are multiple infringement procedures underway against EU countries for failing on air quality. NO₂, and to a lesser extent PM, has fallen in many parts of Europe during Covid-19 lockdown measures.
The European Green Deal includes a commitment to put forward a zero-pollution action plan with major initiatives to cut air pollution.
Source: EEB – the European Environmental Bureau is Europe’s largest network of environmental organisations.