COP26: Governments must increase the level of cycling throughout the cities

The European Cycling Federation (ECF) has called on governments at the COP26 climate summit to increase the level of cycling in their countries in order to reach global climate goals quickly and efficiently, reports the Cyclists’ Union, one of the signatories of the open letter.

The world needs a lot more cycling if we want to fight climate change. Without faster and more determined action by governments around the world to reduce carbon emissions from transport, we will condemn present and future generations to a world that is threatening and much less livable, states the letter sent to governments and transport ministers today.

ECF Executive Director Jill Warren said there is no conceivable way for governments to reduce CO₂ emissions fast enough to avoid the worst climate crises without significantly more cycling: “The devastating effects of accelerating global warming should be clear to everyone, and increasing cycling levels is the best way to quickly reduce carbon emissions from transport on a large scale,” Warren added.

ECF and World Cycling Alliance President Henk Swarttouw said cycling should be a cornerstone of global, national and local strategies to achieve carbon-free goals: “At COP26, governments must commit to providing funding and laws for safe and fair cycling space. Citizens are ready for change, now our leaders need to make it possible”. 

CO₂ emissions from the transport sector continue to rise, and the transition to zero-emission cars and trucks will take decades and will not solve other problems such as traffic congestion and a sedentary lifestyle.

The use of bicycles produces zero emissions, brings far-reaching positive social effects and, most importantly, is a technology that is already widely available today.

“The world cannot afford to wait decades for fossil fuel cars to be completely removed and replaced with electric vehicles. We urgently need to take advantage of the solutions offered by cycling”, says the letter signed by 64 organizations.

 

Photo credit: Flo Karr/Unsplash