In a report, the Commission found that only 10 European countries will achieve their emission reduction goals by 2020, and only four by 2030.
The countries on track to reach their targets by the end of the decade are Croatia, Cyprus, the Netherlands, and Finland.
"The region needs to intensify its efforts. It will be the surest way to put an end to the nearly 400,000 premature deaths that occur every year in the European Union due to air pollution's exposure," the EC warned.
Air pollution rebounds in Europe’s cities as lockdowns ease via @FT
Paris, Brussels and Milan experience big rises in nitrogen dioxide levels compared with recent lows https://t.co/JoaWTBMuU5
The coronavirus pandemic demands not to postpone the environmental pollution's decrease. Prolonged exposure to contaminating gases can cause diabetes, respiratory diseases, and cancer, conditions that compromise the COVID-19 patients' survival.
Although air pollution fell in Europe in March due to confinement, research shows that nitrogen dioxide levels are rebounding in cities such as Paris, Oslo, and Budapest.
The five air pollutants the world must focus on reducing are sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds, ammonia, and fine particles.