Paris is the European metropolis experiencing the most brutal increase of the pollution

Published by Manon C. · Photos by My B. · Published on 25 June 2020 at 16h56
A study by the Research Center on the Energy and the Air Quality reveals the increase of the pollution in Paris is the harshest among the European metropolises.

Pollution has dramatically increased in Paris and it is such a shame. Throughout lockdown, the air quality improved in Ile-de-France and Paris. By mid-May, Airparif, the organization monitoring the air quality in Île-de-France, released a report that demonstrated that between March 17 and late April, pollution significantly decreased, especially in terms of nitrogen dioxide released by road traffic. It decreased by 20 to 35% depending on the weeks, and up to 50% by the main roads.

From now on, life has resumed, and cars are back in the streets of the French capital. In their first post-lockdown report released this past June 19, Airparif declared that as of June 11, the pollution was back and in full glory…: between May 11 and 31, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, and fine particles emissions gradually increased to very high levels, up to 80% of the emissions noticed prior to lockdown.

The cause? The road traffic around Paris, even though Airparif yet notices that the increase of the pollution is less significant within Paris than in some Ile-de-France cities, especially since people have been using bicycles. The Parisian beltway meets its usual pollution rate again for this time of the year.

As of today, Wednesday June 23, a new study, this time released by the Centre de Recherche sur l’Energie et la Qualité de l’Air (Research Center on the Energy and the Air Quality) reveals that Paris is the European metropolis experiencing the harshest increase of the pollution with the containment exit. To draw conclusions, the organization based in Helsinki has compared the level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), released by the road traffic in European cities including over one million inhabitants during and after lockdown.

As NO2 dropped by 60% in Paris during lockdown, containment exit made that NO2 concentrations increased again by 118%. Paris leads cities where pollution increased dramatically, far before Brussels (+88%), and Milan (+73%). Just to compare, in Berlin, the return of the pollution is almost non-existent (+4%).

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