ETC/ATNI Report 16/2021: The Covid-19 pandemic and environmental stressors in Europe: synergies and interplays.

In this report, the impacts of restrictions related to the measures affecting air quality are based modeling studies on data for the whole of 2010 (compared to the years 2015-2019), and includes NO2, PM10, PM2.5 and O3. This is comlemented by assessment of future compliance with the Directive (EU) (2016/2284/EU) on National Emission Reduction Commitments and by literature reviews on air quality, noise and urban sustainability resp. urban planning. This report expands the analysis of restriction measures done by EEA in 2020.

29 Apr 2022

Prepared by:

Alena Bartoňová (ed.), Augustin Colette, Holly Zhang, Jaume Fons, Hai-Ying Liu, Jachym Brzezina, Adrien Chantreux, Florian Couvidat, Cristina Guerreiro, Marc Guevara, Jeroen J.P. Kuenen, Sverre Solberg, Ingrid Super, Courtney Szanto, Leonor Tarrasón, Annie Thornton, Alberto González Ortiz

This report provides an overview of the potential impacts of Covid-19 restrictions, in particular, focusing on review and assessment of Covid-19 impacts on air quality, for the year 2020. Complementary analyses address compliance with the National Emission reductions Commitments (NEC) Directive and noise. This expands the initial analysis of impacts of the pandemic-related restrictions on air quality based on data for the first months of 2020, presented in the EEA Air quality report for 2020.
The results show a clear decline in NO2 short-term levels and annual average throughout Europe. Results for other pollutants are less uniform, and mostly do not show significant changes in annual average or other relevant metrics . The results regarding air quality are robust, obtained by a wealth of methods and consistent also with literature findings.
The noise analysis shows a general decline in noise levels related to road traffic, though some areas show an increase.
An analysis of policies and measures reported by Member States in 2021 for base year 2019 shows that additional measures related to emissions of NH3 are expected to be negatively impacted to the greatest extent by the Covid-19 related restrictions.