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Major cities get a breath of fresh air amid shutdowns

Date: 29-Apr-20
Author: Liam Taylor

New York City was just one of the major cities to experience significantly cleaner air during lockdown.

New York City was just one of the major cities to experience significantly cleaner air during lockdown.

New data from a global leader in air quality monitoring indicates air pollution has fallen to record lows in many of the world’s biggest metropoles due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new COVID-19 Air Quality Report from IQAir, a leading air quality data and solutions provider, reveals air pollution levels in the world’s biggest cities has fallen to unprecedented levels during the recent government-mandated lockdowns. The report analysed air quality in 10 major cities: Delhi, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Madrid, Mumbai, Rome, São Paulo, Seoul and Wuhan.

All 10 cities included in the report besides Rome experienced a reduction in air pollution levels during lockdown periods compared to the same time periods in 2019, with levels falling by as much as 60 percent in Delhi. The report also noted Delhi, Mumbai and Los Angeles experienced their best March air quality on record, while Los Angeles saw it’s longest streak of clean air on record. 

“Across the globe, the coronavirus pandemic has had a monumental impact on the way we live,” said IQAir CEO Frank Hammes in a statement.

“While the human and economic costs are devastating, we are also witnessing how much of air pollution comes from human activity. The drastic reduction in air pollution during COVID-19 lockdowns shows how our habits and behaviours directly impact the air we breathe.”

The news is yet another reason to consider our approach as we make our way out of this crisis and towards a world where people live in balance with nature.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.

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