Lockdown and the associated massive reduction in people's mobility imposed by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) mitigation measures across the globe provide a unique sensitivity experiment to investigate impacts on carbon and air pollution emissions. We present an integrated observational analysis based on long-term in situ multispecies eddy flux measurements, allowing for quantifying near-real-time changes of urban surface emissions for key air quality and climate tracers. During the first European SARS-CoV-2 wave we find that the emission reduction of classic air pollutants decoupled from CO.sub.2 and was significantly larger. These differences can only be rationalized by the different nature of urban combustion sources and point towards a systematic bias of extrapolated urban NO.sub.x emissions in state-of-the-art emission models. The analysis suggests that European policies, shifting residential, public, and commercial energy demand towards cleaner combustion, have helped to improve air quality more than expected and that the urban NO.sub.x flux remains to be dominated (e.g., 90 %) by traffic.