Large reductions predicted for exposure to NO2 in London

04 December 2013

Research performed by Aether on behalf of the GLA has found that the number of Londoners estimated to live in areas exceeding the EU legal annual limit value for NO2 (40ug/m3) has more than halved since 2008.

As shown in the figure below, in 2008, the figure stood at around 3.6 million, but by 2012 this had been reduced to 1.7 million, equivalent to about 20% of the population of London. This is thanks in part to tighter low emission zone standards, retiring the oldest and most polluting taxis, and cleaning up the bus fleet.

By 2016 this figure is expected to reduce further to around 1 million people, and by 2020 to be approximately 300,000 people, most of whom live in central London. The Mayor has thus proposed a central London Ultra Low Emission Zone from 2020 to address the remaining areas of high pollution. 

These figures are based on the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory, with residential population data based on the 2011 census and population projections.

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