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05 Jan 2021, 12:50
Charlotte Nijhuis

Germans affected by traffic more likely to support mobility transition measures – survey

Clean Energy Wire

German households that are impacted by traffic are more likely to support specific measures that endorse the mobility transition, the KfW Energy Transition Barometer shows. While the majority of German households say they are in favour of a stronger push towards traffic avoidance (66%), specific tools such as urban road tolls (23%) or higher parking fees (26%) are generally much less popular. Support for specific measures is stronger among people who are directly affected by traffic, such as citizens living in large cities. For example, around 42 percent of households that feel severely impacted by pollution support urban road tolls – almost three times as many as those that do not feel impacted (15%). “The findings of the KfW Energy Transition Barometer show that while households impacted by traffic congestion support many individual transport policy measures, such measures are still not backed by society as a whole,” said Dr Fritzi Köhler-Geib, KfW’s chief economist. “Therefore, the key to a transport policy that successfully contributes to climate action targets lies in balancing the interests of all road users and the groups that are particularly impacted by traffic.”

Greenhouse gas emissions from Germany’s transport sector have remained stubbornly high for years, and the industry has often been called the “problem child” of the country’s energy transition plans. Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has upended the transition to sustainable urban mobility around the world. While the fear of infection has put people off public transport and vehicle sharing schemes, it has boosted private cars, cycling and walking. Experts fear the crisis will continue to deter people from taking the metro, trams or buses, which they still consider the backbone of future transportation in our cities. But they see a silver lining for green urban mobility as the rise of the home office eases congestion and new bikes lanes pop up that could become permanent fixtures.  

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