Air pollution rebounds in the main capitals of Europe. It does so as the countries of the Old Continent relax their containment measures and enter that so-called new normal, which includes CO2 emissions derived from economic activity.

The main capitals recorded rebounds in nitrogen dioxide emissions. Its concentration increases with respect to the levels that were set during the economic slowdown, according to data from the European Environmental Agency collected by the Financial Times. The drop in pollution levels increases and citizens choose to use private transport to the detriment of the public due to the coronavirus.

The Urban pollution levels approach pre-coronavirus crisis, and all in spite of the fact that the cities have not recovered their normal economic activity. According to data from the European Environmental Agency, in Paris the concentration of nitrogen dioxide has increased from 13.6 micrograms / cubic meter, its lowest level during confinement, to the 29.7 micrograms / cubic meter collected by the data. most recently registered. The Thus, the French capital registers the largest increase in pollution levels compared to other capitals. It is followed by Athens, Bucharest and Munich.

The concentration of nitrogen dioxide in Madrid has gone from levels close to 15 micrograms / cubic meter in April, to exceed 20 micrograms / cubic meter in the week of June 20. But the most bleeding case is Budapest, the only European city that has registered higher levels of contamination than before the confinement.

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Still, it seems that pollution levels in the main European capitals are still below those registered a year ago. From the environmental entity they consider positive that many cities have stepped on the accelerator in their sustainability plans, promoting zero-emission transport like the bicycle. However, the number of people using public transport has plummeted.

This spike in contamination has previously been seen in China. When the Asian giant recovered to normal after the period of confinement, the concentration of polluting gases increased. The country tries to try to meet the GDP growth targets set for 2020. The double march to which the country will undergo production to try to resume the targets set for 2020 involves burning many fossil fuels.

This article was published in Business Insider Spain by Lidia Montes.