City calls for national action to reduce air pollution

Poor air quality responsible for over one death every week in Copenhagen, study says

Emissions from vehicle traffic and wood stoves lead to the premature deaths of 67 greater Copenhagen residents and are the root cause of up to 1,500 sick days annually, a report from the National Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE) at Aarhus University revealed.

"Emissions from wood stoves and traffic are the biggest offenders in Copenhagen,” Jørgen Brandt, a DCE senior fellow and one of the authors of the report, told DR News.

Brandt said that air pollution in Frederiksberg and Copenhagen is responsible for 12 cases of lung cancer, 76 cases of bronchitis and more than 20,000 cases of chronic coughs among capital-dwelling adults and children each year.

“City residents have all of the particle pollutants that are found in the country, plus those that only show up in urban areas,” said Brandt.

Copenhagen’s deputy mayor for technical and environmental affairs, Ayfer Baykal (Socialistisk Folkeparti), looked to the national government to clear the air over the capital.

"Air pollution in Copenhagen has been above the EU thresholds for several years,” she told DR News.”I expect the government to present legislation mandating cleaner air. We have waited a long time and my patience is wearing thin.”

She suggested one step might be a payout to city residents who swap older wood stoves for cleaner burning ones.

Baykal also suggested requiring cars in the city to meet emissions standards.