foto Peter Hilz (C)

Improvement in air quality during 2019

While air quality had remained consistent in the few years up to and including 2018, this year has seen an improvement in the quality of the air we all breathe. If we look at a longer period it is apparent that slowly but surely air quality in Belgium is improving. It’s not all good news through, because levels of CO2 emissions (that have no influence on air quality) continue to increase and it is these emissions that contribute to global warming.   

According to initial figures on air quality that have been released by the Inter-Regional Environment Cell (Ircel), concentrations of a number of pollutants fell in 2019. The pollutants who concentrations were measured and found to have fallen were particulate matter, nitrogen and ozone.     

Ircel’s Frans Fierens told VRT News that “The fall is good news for our health because these three substances have a direct impact.  

Over the past 20 years air quality has gradually improved, although the improvement had stagnated somewhat in recent years. However, things have improved again this year.  

Air quality says nothing about climate change

In Belgium the number of cars on the road continues to increase and we are driver ever more kilometres. Although there is less particulate matter in the emissions produced by all this driving that doesn’t mean that there is also less CO2 or greenhouse gasses. It is these gasses that contribute to global warning. Emissions of greenhouse gasses continue to rise.