The Strategist

Air quality improves in most countries during the pandemic

03/17/2021 - 03:41

Due to the introduction of pandemic lockdowns and the associated reduction in emissions from transport and industry, air quality has improved in most countries in 2020. This is the conclusion of the annual air quality report published by the Swiss company IQAir.
The report includes data from 106 countries and 92 cities around the world. Improvements in pandemic air quality were found in 84% of countries whose data were included in the report and in 65% of cities.

Singapore, Beijing and Bangkok showed the greatest improvement, with the most stringent restrictions. Singapore cut emissions by 25%, Beijing - by 23% and Bangkok - by 20%. The air is cleaner than in 2019 in 86% of Chinese cities and 63% of Indian cities.

Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Qatar, Oman, Kyrgyzstan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Indonesia were among the top 10 countries with the most polluted air. Puerto Rico has the cleanest air (106th). 

The cities with the most polluted air are Delhi and Dhaka, where IQAir says there is a very high probability of adverse health effects on residents and exacerbation of lung and heart diseases. The cleanest air is in Charlotte Amalie, the capital and largest city of the American Virgin Islands. Stockholm, Helsinki, Wellington and Tallinn are also in the top five for cleaner air.