Madrid “Example For Europe” As Air Pollution Down

Madrid´s big clean up is gathering pace with a further fall in the capital´s air quality, according to Madrid´s Mayor, José Luis Martínez-Almeida.

In an announcement made today, the mayor said that “we start 2024 with great news that we should celebrate: Madrid has another air. Cleaner and healthier for everyone, in every corner of our city.

Today Madrid is an example for Europe”.

For the second consecutive year the capital has fully complied with the 2008 European Directive on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe.

According to the figures released today, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in the city were at 36 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3) in 2023. The maximum limit is 40 micrograms per cubic metre.

Almeida said that for many years Madrid has been “under the magnifying glass” of Europe for violating air quality parameters. “The previous measures were simply ineffective.”

In 2018 and 2022 Spain was fined by the EU for repeated failures to comply with European regulations, with both Madrid and Barcelona beng singled out for particularly poor figures.

However, “today we can proudly say that we have reversed that situation thanks to our Madrid 360 Environmental Sustainability Strategy”, siad the mayor.

Madrid´s City Council have tackled the capital´s high pollution levels with a range of measures including reducing traffic in the centre, creating green urban areas and establishing pollution controls on vehicles, buildings and factories.

The Spanish capital was a notable offender of the EU´s Annual Limit Directive whose maximum of 40 micrograms per cubic metre was frequently breached.

In 2017 this limit was exceeded in 15 of Madrid´s  24 air quality stations.

In 2020 and 2021, this was down to just one station in Plaza Elíptica, and in 2022 and 2023 none.

In 2023 the biggest falls in nitrogen dioxide levels was at the Escuela Aguirre station, falling by 22% over the year while falls were recorded in all of the capitals air quality station with the newly pedestrianised Plaza España and Plaza Carmen falling by 15 and 14% respectively.

Almeida has stated that this result is possible thanks to the implementation of “progressive policies on mobility and environment” of the Madrid 360 Strategy, which focused on measures to reduce eliminating polluting sources that the city has. “We have promoted mobility alternatives with aid and facilities, always maintaining a balance between economic growth – we are the economic locomotive of Spain – and environmental protection,” stressed the mayor.



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