The improvement was credited to the reduced traffic and to a change in the weather. However French people are not done arguing about what caused this pollution. Most people blamed diesel cars, and it seems likely that the taxation system that encourages diesel motorization will be the next political battle. But some pointed their finger at Germany, which is in the process of closing all its nuclear plants and relying more on coal. According to most experts however, two thirds of the air pollution was locally produced, and the rest came from the northeast of Europe.
It remains to be seen if this episode will seriously affect urban transportation policies and behavior. One thing for sure, it was a great occasion to promote all alternative forms of transportation, especially electric cars and scooters. Renault and Nissan took out full pages in the newspapers to advertise their range of electric vehicles, and their ads were everywhere on the Internet. On social media, Govecs was very actively touting its electric scooters.