Shares in this article
BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – Six cities in Germany exceeded the permissible limit value for nitrogen dioxide in the air in 2020. This emerges from the final measurement data for the past year, which the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) presented on Friday. Accordingly, in the cities of Munich (54 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic meter of air as an annual mean), Ludwigsburg (47), Limburg (44), Stuttgart (43), Darmstadt (42) and Hamburg (41), the permitted air quality limit of 40 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide was exceeded (NO2) per cubic meter of air.
According to the Federal Environment Agency, there is a significant improvement in air quality compared to previous years. In 2019, 25 cities were still affected by limit values being exceeded, in 2018 there were 57. “The air in the cities is getting cleaner, the development is going in the right direction and that is good news,” said UBA President Dirk Messner on Friday. At the same time, however, he pointed out that the limit value adopted in 1999 to protect health should have been complied with since 2010.
According to the Federal Environment Agency, the main source of nitrogen oxides in cities is road traffic, especially diesel vehicles. Exceeding the limit value therefore only occurs on busy streets in metropolitan areas and cities. At seven of the total of 250 traffic-related measuring stations, the NO2 concentrations exceeded the limit of 40 micrograms per cubic meter of air on an annual average in 2020. In 2019, this was still the case at 51 measuring stations.
The Federal Environment Agency had already presented a preliminary evaluation of air purity in Germany in February and found even then that the air in German cities had improved compared to previous years. In addition to software updates and the annual renewal of the vehicle fleet, the UBA also lists measures such as speed limits, driving bans and the use of low-emission buses as reasons. Meteorological influences could also influence the NO2 values in the air, explains the UBA. However, the measures to contain the corona pandemic would have contributed only to a small extent to the reduction in pollution ./faa/DP/stw