A Comparative Analysis of COVID-19 Effects on air Pollution in Ten EU Cities in 2020


Δημοσιευμένα: Dec 29, 2020
Michail Melidis
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0042-4001
Stylianos Ioannis Tzagkarakis
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9393-8991
Περίληψη

The global pandemic has arguably induced many dramatic changes at all levels worldwide. The occurrence of some silver linings on the environment brought about a glimmer of hope and optimism. However, these are seen as rather short-lived and temporary mainly linked to lower economic output and the imposition of restrictive measures by the national governments to contain the spreading of the coronavirus. In such a context, the restart of the economy plausibly raises many concerns about the durability of those in the long run. An environmental sector that has attracted particular attention is air pollution which has seen significant improvements in urban centers and most polluted cities during the pandemic. Evidence shows that air pollution in the EU has decreased in 2020 as a result of reduced consumption of fossil fuels, road transport, lower economic output, and industrial activity, however, strong signs of retreat to pre-coronavirus levels are observed. The aim of this policy brief is to examine the effects of COVID-19 on air pollution by breaking down and comparing the average concentrations of three pollutants, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and particulate matter (PM2.5), and (PM10), per month in ten major European cities in 2020 with the use of data from the European Environment Agency.

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Βιογραφικά Συγγραφέων
Michail Melidis, University of Exeter; Hellenic Association of Political Scientists
Dr. Michail Melidis is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Exeter (UK). His work and research interests are focused on the analysis and implementation of environmental policies in EU, Greece, and the UK.
Stylianos Ioannis Tzagkarakis, University of Crete; Hellenic Association of Political Scientists

Dr. Stylianos Ioannis Tzagkarakis is Teaching Fellow on Comparative Public Policy and Postdoctoral Researcher (with scholarship from the State Scholarships Foundation-IKY) at the Department of Political Science of the University of Crete, Greece. He is Field Manager of the Centre for Human Rights (KEADIK) of the University of Crete, Deputy Director of the Scientific Council of the Hellenic Association of Political Scientists (HAPSc) and Member of the Steering Committee of the ECPR Political Culture Research Network.

Αναφορές
DEFRA - Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (2020). National Statistics (Concentrations of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5). Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/air-quality-statistics/concentrations-of-particulate-matter-pm10-and-pm25 (Accessed: 20/11/2020).
DEFRA - Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (2020). Clean Air Strategy (2019). Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/770715/clean-air-strategy-2019.pdf (Accessed: 18/11/2020).
EEA - European Environment Agency (2020a), Air Quality and Covid-19. Available at: https://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/air/air-quality-and-covid19 (Accessed: 15/11/2020).
EEA - European Environment Agency (2020b), COVID-19 and the environment: explore what we know. Available at: https://www.eea.europa.eu/post-corona-planet/explore (Accessed: 15/11/2020).
EEA - European Environment Agency (2020c), COVID-19 and Europe’s environment: impacts of a global pandemic. Available at: https://www.eea.europa.eu/post-corona-planet/covid-19-and-europes-environment/#sdfootnote4 (Accessed: 15/11/2020).
EPA – US Environmental Protection Agency (2020). Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Pollution. Available at: https://www.epa.gov/no2-pollution/basic-information-about-no2 (Accessed: 15/11/2020).
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Melidis, M. (2020). What are the effects of COVID-19 on the environment?. HAPSc Policy Briefs Series, 1(1): 251-257.
Saadat, S., Rawtani, D. and Hussain, C. M. (2020). Environmental perspective of COVID-19. Science of The Total Environment, 138870.
WHO - World Health Organisation, Regional Office for Europe (2017), Health risks of air pollution in Europe – HRAPIE Project. Available at: https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/238956/Health_risks_air_pollution_HRAPIE_project.pdf (Accessed: 16/11/2020).
WHO - World Health Organisation (2020). Ambient (outdoor) air pollution. Available at:https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ambient-(outdoor)-air-quality-and-health (Accessed: 23/11/2020).
Zambrano-Monserrate, M. A., Ruano, M. A. and Sanchez-Alcalde, L. (2020). Indirect effects of COVID-19 on the environment. Science of the Total Environment, 728, 138813.

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