The measures implemented to combat the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands and in neighboring countries have had the side effect of reducing air pollution, a study organized by Dutch meteorological agency KNMI reveals. By analyzing satellite measurements from between 2019 and 2020, the KNMI estimates that there has been a significant drop off in the amount air pollution above the Netherlands of anywhere between 20 and 60 percent.
Dozens of Dutch municipalities, provinces and the central government will sign the Clean Air Agreement on Monday - a promise to improve air quality in the Netherlands. With a package of measures, they want to prevent some 5 thousand premature deaths by 2030. The government is pushing 50 million euros into the agreement, municipalities and provinces dozens of millions more, NOS reports.
The European Union's policy on air quality led to much cleaner air in the Netherlands, according to a study by public health institute RIVM. Without the European measures implemented since the 1970s, air pollution in the country would be much higher and the average life expectancy in the Netherlands would be about six years lower, the RIVM said.
At least a few dozen Dutch people were forced to move due to the air quality around their home, according to a study by the Long Fonds. These involve people who became so sick from the air pollution in their environment, that it seriously affected the quality of their life, AD reports.
The latest images from Dutch space instrument Tropomi, which maps air pollution around the globe, shows that India is the new top polluter in the world. Also, research shows that the Netherlands has one of the highest concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in Europe, Pieternel Levelt, head of satellite observation at Dutch meteorological institute KNMI and professor at TU Delft, said to newspaper AD.
Between 10 thousand and 15 thousand Dutch people die each year from the effects of air- and noise pollution. The health risks are particularly high around Schiphol and Amsterdam. Randstad residents are three times more likely to get cardiovascular diseases or serious lung diseases from pollution than people living in Drenthe, Groningen or the islands, for example, RTL Niews reports based on its analysis of RIVM estimates and figures.
People who live near Schiphol airport are regularly exposed to increased concentrations of ultra-fine particles in the air, which can have an effect on their health. On days that the wind blows from Schiphol, children with respiratory diseases show more symptoms and more often have to use their medication, according to the interim results of a study by public health institute RIVM, Utrecht University, and the Amsterdam academic medical center AMC.
Amsterdam will be raising parking rates in the whole city on April 1st. On Wednesday a majority of the Amsterdam city council voted for traffic alderman Sharon Dijksma's plans for the significant rate increase, the Telegraaf reports.
Last year CO2 emissions in the Netherlands were at the same level as in 1990, Statistics Netherlands reported. Though the emission of other greenhouse gasses - methane, nitrous oxide and F-gasses - halved in that period. The total greenhouse gas emissions were 13 percent lower in 2017 than in 1990.
A total of 163 billion kilograms of CO2 were emitted in the Netherlands last year, about the same as in 1990. Though the stats office points out that the sectors that produce greenhouse gasses have grown considerably since 1990.
The Dutch State does not have to take extra measures to comply with the European standards on particulate matter emissions, the court in The Hague ruled on Tuesday. The government does not have to take an extra safety margin into account when, for example, expanding highways or increasing the speed limit, the court ruled, RTL Nieuws reports.
State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management plans to implement around 100 extra measures to ensure that air quality throughout the Netherlands meets European standards, ANP reports.
If no further measures are taken, the Netherlands will only meet the World Health Organization's clean air advice standards by 2030. And even then, the air won't be exactly healthy, the Health Council wrote in a new report. The "blanket of pollution" will cause major health problems in the Netherlands for years to come, according to the Health Council, RTL Nieuws reports.
On Wednesday the court in The Hague ruled against Milieudefensie in a lawsuit filed by the environmental group to force the Dutch government to take more measures to reduce air pollution. According to the court, the Dutch State is taking sufficient measures to improve air quality, NU.nl reports.
Amsterdam Centrum wants to reduce traffic problems in the Red Light District by closing certain roads to taxis at night. The district proposed a 6 month experiment in which taxis will not be allowed on several streets around the Red Light District between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. from Thursday night to Monday morning, Het Parool reports.
The city of Arnhem will ban diesel cars produced before 2004 form the city center by January 1st, 2019 at the latest, the college of mayor and aldermen decided. This decision was met with fierce criticism from the royal Netherlands' automobile club KNAC.
"The air in the city center is too dirty", Arnhem's mobility alderman Geert Ritsema explained, according to De Gelderlander. "Residents of the city center on average live over one year shorter due to the poor air. We have to take our responsibility and act now."
Despite improvements over the past years, the air in Gelderland is still anything but clean, according to a report from public health service GGD Gelderland-Midden. The researchers concluded that two babies per year die due to air pollution in the province and breathing the Gelderland air is, on average, equal to smoking six cigarettes per day, Omroep Gelderland reports.
The Dutch state must draw up a quality plan to improve the air quality in the Netherlands so that it complies to European regulations, the court in The Hague ruled on Thursday in a lawsuit filed by environmental organization Milieudefensie, NU.nl reports.
In the summary proceedings court on Wednesday, environmental organization Milieudefensie demanded that the Dutch state immediately implement measures to reduce air pollution. Campaign leader Anne Knol calls it "absolutely necessary that measures be taken quickly to make the air healthier", NOS reports.
The organization already filed an ordinary lawsuit for this, but Milieudefensie thinks this will take too long.
The number of diesel cars from before 2001 on Dutch roads decreased again last year, Statistics Netherlands said on Tuesday. Nationwide the number of old passenger and commercial cars dropped by 18 percent compared to 2015 and by a massive 73 percent compared to 2010. The decline was greatest in the Dutch cities that took specific measures to get these polluting cars off the street.
Environmental organization Milieudefensie - the Dutch Friends of the Earth - filed another lawsuit against the Dutch state to force the government to improve the air quality in the country. The organization already filed a lawsuit against the government last year, but so far nothing has come of it, NOS reports.
Emissions from scooters and mopeds are so high that they are harmful to cyclists' health, according to a study done by municipal health institute GGD Gelderland-Midden. The health institute calls for scooters and mopeds to be removed from the bike path and onto the road in order to immediatley improve the air quality for cyclists, RTL Nieuws reports.
Air quality in the Netherlands will be very bad in the coming days, public health institute RIVM warns. The institute therefore decided to issue a smog warning effective until Friday
Greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands was five percent higher in 2015 than in 2014, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands on Monday.
The air in Amsterdam is so polluted that residents suffer the same health detriments by breathing it that they would do from passively smoking 6.4 cigarettes, according to calculations by environmental organization Milieudefensie