Post-coronavirus stimulus must target air quality improvements, say campaigners

Environmental and public health campaigners say the impact Covid-19 restrictions are having on air quality in Europe demonstrates the case for tougher action on pollution.

Greenpeace Spain yesterday published data showing that NO2 levels in Barcelona and Madrid have fallen significantly since restrictions on movement were put in place on 15 March. The average NO2 level from monitoring stations across Madrid, for example, fell from over 60 µg/m3 on 10 March to 15 µm/m3 a week later.

“The drop in pollution is not a surprise in the light of what we saw in China two months ago,” Adrián Fernández of Greenpeace Spain told ENDS. “The undeniable priority at the moment is tackling the coronavirus but we shouldn’t hesitate to adopt robust measures to protect public health at any time.”

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