Dublin does not do enough to protect air quality, says survey

Capital came 18th out of 23 European cities for poor effort yet geography clears its air

Bund (Friends of the Earth, Germany) and the European Environment Bureau say those responsible for air quality in Dublin rely on ‘favourable geographical conditions’ to keep air pollutants below EU limits

Bund (Friends of the Earth, Germany) and the European Environment Bureau say those responsible for air quality in Dublin rely on ‘favourable geographical conditions’ to keep air pollutants below EU limits

 

Compilers of a soot-free index of 23 European cities have criticised Dublin for not doing enough to protect air quality. The creators of the index, Bund (Friends of the Earth, Germany) and the European Environment Bureau, claim that policymakers responsible for air quality in Dublin are relying on “favourable geographical conditions” to keep air pollutants within EU limits.

Dublin came 18th out of the 23 cities graded on the index for their efforts to protect and improve air quality. While Dublin’s air quality is regarded as good, the survey found that efforts to protect this were poor.

Swiss city Zurich topped the list of soot-free cities and both it and the runner-up, Copenhagen, in Denmark, were praised for policies that included a strong commitment to reducing pollution from vehicles and the promotion of cleaner forms of transport.

Adjudicators said that car numbers in many European cities had been reduced, and that Zurich and Copenhagen had bans on highly polluting vehicles such as diesel cars, trucks and construction machines.

Scoring badly

While the adjudicators said there had been progress in most cities in reducing PM10 particulate matter – which can cause severe health problems – they singled out Dublin as one of the cities that “were rather inactive . . . because they were, due to favourable geographic conditions, in compliance with EU limit values”. Cities ranked lower than Dublin included Glasgow, Madrid and Rome.