Air pollution is one of the biggest threats to the health of people around the world. And no continent is saved, as this ranking of the 10 most polluted cities in Europe shows.
This top was made by the British firm Utility Bidder, which advises companies on their energy expenditure. It is based on three criteria: air quality (calculated according to the concentration of fine particles PM2.5), the percentage of traffic jams (reported in the TomTom Traffic Index published each year) and the level of CO2 emissions per capita.
Lithuania’s capital Vilnius does not have a very high level of CO2 emissions per capita (4 million tons, or Mt), but its high congestion rate (29%) and especially its poor air quality (an index of 29) places this agglomeration of 575,000 inhabitants in the Top 10 of the most polluted European cities.
In ninth place in the ranking we find another capital: London. Despite the air being less polluted than Vilnius (an index of 9), the British megalopolis is ranked lower due to the numerous traffic jams on its roads (31%) and the 5 Mt of CO2 emitted per inhabitant.
The only German city in this ranking is not the capital Berlin, but Hamburg. Located in the north of the country, of which it is the second largest city and the first port, the agglomeration of almost 2 million inhabitants owes its presence to a poor air quality index (36) and well-traveled roads (29% ).
Zurich, the economic and financial center of Switzerland, is the only Swiss city in the ranking. It has an air quality index of 31, has a congestion rate of 27% and emits 5 Mt of CO2 per capita.
Two French cities are present in this ranking, which makes France the most represented country. The first is Nice, in the Alpes-Maritimes. The city led by Christian Estrosi owes its presence in particular to poor air quality (index of 40), as well as significant CO2 emissions (6Mt / inhabitant). Its roads are no more congested than other big cities (25%).
Paris is the second French city in the ranking. As expected, the capital is affected by a high rate of congestion on its roads (32%), the fourth highest in this Top 10. On the contrary, the level of CO2 emissions per capita is quite low (2 ).
According to this ranking, Warsaw is the fourth most polluted city in Europe. The Polish capital, and its almost 2 million inhabitants, has bad figures: an air quality index of 32, a traffic jam rate of 31% and, above all, a level of CO2 emissions of 7 Mt per capita.
Athens is on the podium of the most polluted European cities. The Greek capital, whose air quality index is 26, owes its place in particular to its congested roads (34%) and its CO2 emissions (7 Mt / inhabitant).