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A composite image of Vancouver’s weighted NO2 averages for March 2019 (left) and March 2020 (right). Source: Descartes Labs With less traffic due to pandemic shutdowns, the air in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and other urban centres is clearer — and much healthier. In the longer-term, replacing normal vehicle volumes with EVs would have the same life-saving effect If you’re spending all your time isolating indoors, you might not have noticed, but Canada’s cities are currently experiencing a dramatic decrease in pollution and fossil fuel emissions. The big difference maker: fewer cars and trucks on the roads. The air-clearing impact of reduced emissions — not just carbon dioxide (CO2), which warms the planet, but nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a major factor in smog and other harmful particulate air pollution — is revealed in the following maps from satellite data analytics provider Descartes Labs. “Air pollution produces approximately 14,000 early deaths each year in Canada” – Robin Edger, Executive Director and CEO of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment The images compare the average levels of atmospheric NO2, a pollutant created from burning fossil fuels such as gasoline, in the areas surrounding Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary in recent […]

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