Pollution in the Old Normal
Report by Folha shows that the concentration of pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides are returning to pre-pandemic levels
Unfortunately, the new coronavirus pandemic is far from over. Even so, the “old normal” is showing signs that it wants to return, at least with respect to pollution. Exclusive data from Cetesb (Environmental Company of the State of São Paulo) showed that, at the end of March 2020, when the quarantine began and the flow of vehicles fell drastically, the concentrations of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere reduced significantly in relation to the same period in previous year: 45% and 50%, respectively. However, in the second half of the year, the relaxation of the restrictions was accompanied by an increase in the emissions. At times, the concentration rates of these pollutants were even higher than in the same period in 2019. In the report by Folha, which provided this information, Marcel Martin, coordinator of the iCS transport portfolio, states that the electrification of buses is one of the short-term solutions, as well as investment in the infrastructure of bus corridors and, mainly, in rail transportation, which has zero emissions and a high capacity to carry passengers.