Antwerp is one of the world’s nitrogen dioxide pollution hotspots

According to new satellite data collected by the European Space Agency, Belgium in general and Antwerp in particular are among the areas of the world where nitrogen dioxide levels are the highest. The environmentalist pressure group Greenpeace analysed the data a published a report of its findings on Monday.         

Using a new satellite the European Space Agency is able to study and compare the world’s most polluting NO2 emissions sources.  Based on this data Greenpeace has published a map of the 50 biggest NO2 hotspots. The Antwerp area is among these and Belgium as a whole is one of the areas of Europe with the highest levels of NO2 pollution.

In Antwerp the post and industry in and around the port account for some of the pollution.    


"The politicians that are currently in coalition talks in Antwerp and other big cities cannot just push these results aside. Our cities could play a leading role in ditching diesel and then petrol vehicle”, Mr Thijs added.  

The main NO2 hotspots are to be found around clusters of coal-powered stations in India, South Africa and Germany, industrial clusters in China and cities such as Santiago de Chile, London, Dubai, Teheran, London and Paris that have high-levels of pollution caused by vehicles. In Angola and DR Congo the concentration hotspots are caused by farmers setting fire to land in order to clear it for agriculture.  

Other hotspots such as Antwerp, Jakarta and New Delhi have high levels of NO2 that emitted from a number of sources, including transport, industry and/or coal-fired power station.  


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