COVID-19 control measures and increases in renewable energy caused a steep drop in fossil fuel burning in Europe in 2020. This led to an approximately 14% reduction in average level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution, 7% reduction in average level of particulate matter pollution, and 4% in ozone levels, resulting in an estimated 37,813 avoided deaths from air pollution (95% confidence interval: 31,894 – 44,226) in Europe.
[Methodology note] Air pollution levels are generally determined by two main factors: emissions and weather conditions. The latter are known to affect air quality in various ways: dispersion, precipitation or the facilitation of chemical reactions. This impact of weather creates uncertainty when it comes to understanding the effect of policies on air quality, or, for […]