The Hungarian capital Budapest ranks among the worst for important indicators for air pollution in the EU. The nitrogen dioxide pollution last year exceeded the annual limit value before May.
Budapest is one of the worst polluted capital in the EU with nitrogen dioxide. Among the 28 surveyed European capital, Budapest scored the 6th worst pollution records, portfolio.hu reports.
A survey was made by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and published on the 16 February, two days after the European Parliament voted to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel CO2-emitting cars as of 2035.
Media headlines regarding air pollution often concentrate on CO2 emissions. However, according to the study, EU and UK air quality standards for concentrations of NO2 are far higher than the WHO guideline values.
Budapest scored the 6th worst result among the analysed capitals in Europe in nitrogen dioxide overshoot days. This means that NO2 pollution in Budapest reached the annual target set by the WHO by 25 April last year.
The poor figures can be explained by the EU’s more lenient rules compared to the WHO guidelines regarding NO2 pollution. EU directives currently set an annual limit of 40 micrograms, four times higher than the WHO recommendation. The WHO guidelines and limits are not legally binding. Yet, nations might use them as a guide to establish their own domestic norms.
The European Parliament and Council will soon revise the EU’s key air quality directives. According to G7.hu, the new framework is expected to enter into force around 2024. After that governments must make proper national rules and implementation will need to start.
In Hungary, 13,000 people lost their lives prematurely in 2018 due to air pollution according to the European Environment Agency. In 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Hungary has infringed the rules of EU law on ambient air quality.
The ruling criticized Hungary for “systematically and persistently” exceeding the daily limit value for particulate matter PM10.
Source: portfolio.hu, g7.hu, Reuters