SustainabilityEnvironmental study shows the desire of the Germans for a car-independent lifestyle

Today, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB) together with the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) published the results of the environmental awareness study 2016. Since 1996 and every two years, this environmental survey has been documenting how environmental awareness and behavior changes in Germany. For this representative population survey, about 4,000 people were interviewed online in August and September 2016.

These are some of the key results:

  • The car remains the most important means of transport in Germany: 70 percent of respondents use it several times per week. The overwhelming majority of 91 percent of respondents said life would be better if they were less dependent on a car. In addition, 79 percent wanted a city development that promotes alternatives to the car.
  • Plastic waste in the ocean is regarded as the most threatening environmental risk by the majority of respondents (74 percent). Climate change was perceived to be very threatening by 55 percent of respondents.
  • The following social and environmental challenges were identified as very important: The development of environmentally friendly technologies (69 percent of respondents) and the transition towards renewable energies (58 percent).

These and other findings on the existing attitude and behavior patterns in society as well as needs of different population groups shall be incorporated into a citizen and future-oriented and sustainable policy. Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister for the Environment, commented on the study: "People are willing to abandon the car, but they need good alternatives. Fewer cars, efficient and convenient public transport, good and secure cycle paths – many people want this because it improves their quality of life and protects the environment."

Source: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety

More information, the survey and Factsheet