Fine dust blankets parts of world from Italy to Seoul, calling for a climate action
Updated: 2020-01-15 16:09:34 KST
Italy has been under a so-called "smog emergency" for 10 days in a row.
Fine dust particles smaller than 10 micrometers have spiked above 50 micrograms per cubic meter in major Italian cities including Rome, Milan, Florence and Venice.
With the smog persisting at a level considered dangerous, the affected cities have issued traffic restrictions banning diesel vehicles from the roads.
In Rome, all diesel vehicles are banned from the "green band" area during rush hour,… while higher-polluting vehicles are banned for the whole day.
It is the first time the city has applied such measure to all categories of diesel vehicles since last February, and this has affected some one million drivers.
Along with similar restrictions on diesel vehicles, Milan has banned bonfires, barbecues and fireworks while Venice has restricted the use of the heaviest-polluting motorbikes.
A similar situation has been seen on the other side of the world.
Here in South Korea, the government introduced preliminary fine dust reduction measures last year, which include a rotation system for the public sector, which means cars with even-numbered license plates can only be driven on even-numbered days and those with odd-numbered plates on odd-numbered days.
But the countries are in need of more fundamental measures accompanying these efforts.
Experts in both countries say there is a number of climate factors to consider when it comes to air pollution, such as warm temperatures, low precipitation, and weak wind which all contribute to trapping the dust in the air.
They say, to tackle climate issues, countries should take long-term, comprehensive measures like enhancing regulations on factory operations along with short-term policies like the traffic restrictions.