Blue Sky Recovery – How to keep lockdown low levels of air pollution in European cities

March 11, 2021

As a slow path to a post-pandemic world begins, will cities go back to a deadly ‘pollution as usual’, humanity’s foremost environmental health threat, or will they use the recovery and the EU stimulus funds to fast-forward the transition towards clean and healthy mobility?

This report uses the latest research on mobility trends to chart the changes in urban mobility needed for a rapid but realistic return and lock-in of the record low air pollution levels of March and April 2020. The analysis investigates the two most common strategies applied across Europe to clean up mobility: On the one hand, a roll-out of zero-emission vehicles whose sales surged across Europe in 2020 with Europe surpassing China for the first time; on the other a wider overhaul of mobility relying also on a switch to active travel, public transport and teleworking. The results are presented in terms of percentage switch from fossil fuel transport to zero-mission vehicles and mobility; metrics designed to allow policymakers to adjust their mobility strategies, city budgets and investment programmes.

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