Air quality improves during lockdown

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 20-11-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

The concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air of several Portuguese cities decreased “very significantly” during the first state of emergency, proving the harmful effects of road traffic on air quality, experts argued.

“The percentages show that the reduction of NO2 is very significant. What has been shown is that in Lisbon the 79 percent reduction was due to the state of emergency”, said Dília Jardim, of the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), during the conference “Lisbon greener and healthier: The Challenges of Air Pollution”.

The data taken into account compared the values found between the 20 February, 25 days before the declaration of the state of emergency (16 March), and 9 April, during confinement.

In addition to Lisbon’s 79 percent reduction, in Coimbra the reduction was 66 percent, in Porto 62 percent, in Guimarães 60 percent, in Braga 49 percent, in Setúbal 37 percent and finally in Aveiro 26 percent.

“This shows us that this exceptional situation has given us evidence of what we knew in theory,” she said, noting that this data gives us “reason to reflect and rethink behaviours and actions.” “The adoption of telework for a large part of the population is now a reality, the increase in online services and online shopping and takeaways was also a factor that has increased and that I think is here to stay and may be relevant in terms of reducing emissions,” she said.

Sandra Mesquita, from the Commission for Coordination and Regional Development of Lisbon and Tagus Valley (CCDR-LVT), further stressed that during the state of emergency and the state of calamity, with the confinement, the levels of NO2 had been reduced.

According to Sandra Mesquita, “if the year ended yesterday, we would be meeting the limit value of NO2 for 2020, taking into account the values in five air measurement stations in Lisbon (Avenida da Liberdade, Entrecampos, Olivais, Restelo and Santa Cruz - Benfica).”


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