OREANDA-NEWS. A significantly lower content of harmful substances in the air recorded in 2020, said the Minister of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Germany Svenja Schulze on Tuesday, February 16, in Berlin. She noted, that the decrease in the concentration of nitrogen dioxide and fine dust is only partially explained by the restrictions imposed against the background of the coronavirus pandemic. «The positive trend in this area has been maintained for many years», the Minister stated.

Only Hamburg and Munich exceeded the maximum permissible level of nitrogen dioxide in the air, said the head of the Federal Agency for Environmental Protection Dirk Messner. He noted, that the improvement in the situation was largely due to more modern diesel cars and improved vehicle software.

At the same time, a 20-50% reduction in road traffic during the lockdown period in March-April 2020 reduced the nitrogen dioxide content in the atmosphere by 25%. Messner, however, noted that it is too early to calm down. He recalled, that in 2018 in Germany, according to the European Environmental Protection Agency, more than 63 thousand people died from the effects of inhaling fine dust.