As many as 63 percent of Poles declare that they are ready to use cars less, informed the Ministry of Climate, presenting the results of research conducted by the National Center for Climate Change (KOZK).
Climate Minister Michał Kurtyka said at a press conference that the research showed that during the pandemic, car driving reduced by 25 percent of Poles, while as much as 63 percent declared readiness to use the car less frequently after it ends. He pointed out that 52 percent of Poles believe that limiting car driving significantly contributes to the prevention of climate change.
“It seems that after the pandemic we are ready to use cars less often and we see this as a good way to fight climate change”, indicated the minister.
Decline in car usage
The coordinator of the study - Dr. Justyna Orłowska from KOZK emphasized that the pandemic had an impact on our lifestyle, and one of the noticeable changes was the reduction in car usage.
"Interviews with respondents show that most people are aware that traditional car and air transport are one of the main sources of carbon and nitrogen oxide emissions that aggravate global warming", she said. She also indicated that more than a quarter (27%) of people who declared they will restrict their car usage in the future are those who were frequent users prior to the pandemic.
The KOZK study shows that women are most prone to less frequent use of the car after the pandemic (62% of respondents), while among men this percentage amounted to 38%. The most numerous age group among those ready to limit the use of a car were people aged over 55 (38%). Readiness to change was most often declared by rural residents (31%) and people with secondary education (34%).
Ready to give up cars, distrustful of public transport
Research has also shown that the pandemic has reduced confidence in public transport.
“The two main reasons for this situation mentioned by the respondents were fear of infection and not having enough space out of fear of exceeding the limit. At the same time, the interlocutors emphasised that the decline in confidence in this form of transport is probably temporary”, explains Orłowska.
The research results also indicate that factors that could significantly reduce car usage are the expansion and improvement of bicycle infrastructure, the introduction of clean air zones and restrictions on car traffic in city centers.