Almost half of people will never take flights as often as before according to a new poll which suggests that Covid-19 lockdown will trigger lasting changes to help to tackle climate issues.
Researchers found that 47% of people intended to reduce the amount they flew for leisure.
Only 8.3% planned to fly more often and 45% intended to go back to their pre-lockdown frequency.
Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations at Cardiff University, who led the research, said the finding that people intended to fly less for leisure was “particularly striking”, as was a large increase in support for limiting flying to tackle climate change.
Previous findings by the centre issued prior to the Covid-19 pandemic last September found that two-thirds of people (67%) felt that air travel should be limited in order to address climate change.
About a third of people will work from home more often, having got used to not commuting in the past five months, according to the latest findings.
Researchers from Cardiff and Manchester universities said the results suggested that the lockdown had disrupted habits and many people were keen to maintain their more environmentally friendly practices.
Use of public transport is an exception, with more than half (52%) intending to use buses and trains less often in future. The researchers said this suggested a worrying trend towards driving more but might indicate a greater desire to walk and cycle.
The findings are based on two surveys which questioned a total of 1,800 people in late May and early June.
Public concern over climate change had increased during the pandemic, which surprised scientists as concerns about one large issue tend to lead to a reduction in worrying about another, The Times reported.
Claire Hoolohan, research fellow at Manchester University, said: “Our findings illustrate that the restructuring of everyday life that has occurred since lockdown was implemented has allowed low-carbon practices to take hold.
“The question that faces society now, is how do we recover from Covid-19 in a way that means society is healthier, happier and more sustainable than before.”
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