BRIEFING: Air pollution returns to European capitals: Paris faces largest rebound

A new CREA assessment of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air pollution levels in European capitals shows how pollution is rebounding as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Paris has experienced the largest increase in pollution from the cleanest period during lockdown, while Budapest and Oslo have exceeded their pre-crisis levels, when controlling for weather.

The return of pollution is likely to put COVID-19 patients at more risk, as research (not yet peer-reviewed) has found a link between NO2 exposure and deaths from COVID-19.

Nitrogen dioxide pollution is responsible for 1,300 new cases of child asthma and 4,300 deaths in Paris annually. In the European Union, 72,000 deaths per year are attributed to NO2 exposure.

The briefing also proposes five solutions for cities facing a pollution rebound.

Read the full briefing

Pollution in Paris | Alberto Hernández | Flickr
Air pollution in Paris. Photo credit: Alberto Hernández