COVID-19 lockdown in France reduces air pollution 20-30%

100,000 police patrol streets of France to enforce 2-week lockdown

PARIS – France’s stay-at-home orders to fight COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a 20 to 30 per cent decline in overall air pollution levels in Paris, according to a report from Paris’ air quality monitoring agency.

The lockdown took countless cars and delivery trucks off the roads since the order came into effect on March 17. It also reduced the number of flights at the two airports in Paris.

The Airparif report said that only two days after the self-confinement began, it registered “a 20 to 30 per cent improvement in air quality in the Paris metropolis, after nitrogen oxide emissions dropped by more than 60 per cent.

“This decline in air pollution was accompanied by a drop in carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, underscoring the links between these two problems and the joint benefits for the climate of any improvement in air quality,” Airparif said.

“Other good news, this drop in air pollutants is accompanied by a drop in carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, highlighting the links between these two issues and the co-benefit for the climate of all improved air quality,” said AirParif in their report.

Last week France announced it was deploying 100,000 police officers along fixed checkpoints across the country to enforce President Emmanuel Macron’s two-week lockdown order.

Anyone caught violating the far-reaching restrictions “must be able to justify the reason for their movements,” or will face legal penalties, including a fine of up to €135, Castaner said.

@AlexLexroy90 photo

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