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.
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.
The Dutch space instrument Tropomi sent its first images back to earth on Friday. The instrument was launched in October with the mission to accurately measure and map the pollution of the earth, the Telegraaf reports.
The Tropomi images clearly show clouds of nitrogen dioxide above the Netherlands, according to the newspaper. These are caused by traffic and industry. There is also a significant concentrations of carbon monoxide, caused by burning fuel and wood above India and the Amazon. The air above the east coast of China was also determined to be highly polluted.
Vondelpark is the only place in Amsterdam that meets the strict air quality standards of the World Health Organization, according to the city's annual publication Amsterdam in figures 2017. Air quality in the rest of the city is improving, but the air still contains too much particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, RTL Nieuws reports.
Air quality was measured in ten spots throughout the Dutch capital for this publication. In the area of particulate matter, air quality in Amsterdam does meet the European standards, which are less stringent than those of the WHO.
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.
Air quality in the Netherlands does not meet European standards. A number of places in the country has more nitrogen dioxide in the air than the maximum permitted annual average of 40 micrograms per cubic meter, according to a report Milieudefensie is handing to Amsterdam alderman Abdeluheb Choho on Wednesday
Even the cleanest diesel cars currently on the roads do not meet EU emissions standards, according to field measurements performed by TNO. Not a single tested diesel car comes to being below the emission limit of 80 milligrams of nitrogen dioxide per kilometer.
Tampering with diesel vehicles' emissions, such as was done in the so-called Volkswagen diesel scandal, is the reason that the Netherlands is not meeting the European standards for air quality. It is also responsible for the shorter life-spans of people living near busy motorways.
The cabinet is working an a new smog alarm to better inform the more than a million Dutch people suffering from respiratory problems of impurities in the air.
The high level of air pollution in the Netherlands could lead to large fines from the European Union. This is according to Milieu Defensie (Environment Defense), based on nitrogen dioxide measurements made on 58 main roads.
Amsterdam takes extra measures to comply with the European standard for nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter in 2015. For example, the municipality will no longer issue parking permits for the most polluting vehicles.