Greenpeace: Report ranks Romania as the 15th most polluted country in Europe
Romania was ranked 15th among the most polluted countries in Europe in 2020 in a new report on air quality quoted by Greenpeace Romania. In the same report, Bucharest was ranked 51st in the world capital city ranking.
According to the 2020 World Air Quality Report, which analyzes PM2.5 data reported by monitoring stations around the world, as aggregated through IQAir’s air quality information platform, 84% of monitored countries saw improvements in air quality last year, mainly due to global measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19. Improvements in air quality in 2020 compared to 2019 were observed in cities such as Beijing (-11%), Chicago (-13%), Delhi (-15%), London (-16%), Paris (-17%), and Seoul (-16%), Greenpeace Romania said.
Worldwide, only 24 of the 106 countries monitored met the annual recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) for PM2.5 in 2020.
In Europe, about half of cities exceed WHO targets for annual PM2.5, according to the same report. The highest levels of PM2.5 pollution were recorded in South-Eastern Europe, with Bosnia & Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Bulgaria leading the way. Romania is at number 15 among the most polluted countries.
“Governmental air quality monitoring and reporting in Europe is relatively pervasive. While Northern and Western Europe constitute the densest air quality monitoring networks with 818 cities covered, Eastern and Southern Europe are not far behind with 616 cities covered,” the report reads.
“In Romania, the authorities do not properly monitor PM2.5 in urban areas. As a result of this lack of data, several independent networks for measuring this pollutant have emerged, which bring valuable data to the public. In Bucharest, only one of the six official stations monitors the fine dust, and that is located on the outskirts of the city, on the shores of Morii Lake,” said Alin Tanase, Greenpeace Romania campaign coordinator.
The report also includes a ranking of the most polluted capital cities in the world, where Bucharest ranks 51st. The most polluted capital is Delhi, India. At the opposite pole, the cleanest air is found in islands in the middle of the ocean, such as the Virgin Islands and New Zealand, or in the capitals of the Nordic countries Sweden and Finland.
The full report is available here.
(Photo source: Mihocphoto/Dreamstime.com)