Second Europe lockdown of little environmental benefit
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Europe’s second lockdown, introduced in response to the new wave of the COVID pandemic, produced a much more modest reduction in emissions of pollutants in the atmosphere than occurred during the restrictive measures of last spring, the Financial Times reported.

    

      The daily analysed satellite data from Copernicus, the European Union climate monitoring agency, and concluded that despite the imposition of new restrictions in various European countries, air pollution emissions of nitrogen dioxide from cars and trucks saw largely insignificant reductions. In some cases, they even rose.

    Restrictions introduced back in March produced reductions of more than 50 % in emissions of air pollutants as a result of a sharp decline in the number of vehicles on the roads. The restrictions this time are much less stringent and in the final weeks of November, the number of cars passing along the roads is on the rise. People have turned to their cars, the newspaper said, to avoid the risk of contact.

   Corinne Le Quéré, a professor of climate change science at the University of East Anglia in Britain, told the daily that reductions in carbon dioxide emissions were 50 % of those recorded last spring.


    “In the second lockdown the effect on carbon dioxide has been much less — about half the effect we had initially (during the first lockdown),” she told the FT. “This is directly related to the amount of miles travelled through the car, and how much the economy is paralysed.” 

    In Madrid, where a curfew was in effect at the beginning of November, the level of nitrogen dioxide emissions was 46 % higher than during the spring lockdown. In some cities, like Berlin, traffic was heavier than normal levels. In Rome, Madrid and London, traffic was done one-third from usual levels, but considerably heavier than during the spring lockdown.

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