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Acting locally on climate change: cycling

  • by JW

“Your bike is a global warming solution.”


Greenpeace do provoke – with some interesting comments in this Twitter feed:

Plenty of other people would concur.

The UCLA looks at how riding a bike benefits the environment:

Choosing a bike over a car just once a day reduces the average person’s carbon emissions from transportation by 67%. More than half of all daily trips are also less than three miles long — a perfect distance for a climate-friendly bike ride. In 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change even identified bicycling as a solution to ensure a sustainable world for everyone, both now and in the future. Let’s look at how this one small change in your transportation habits significantly helps protect the environment.

Of course cycling groups think so – including Cycling UK, pointing out that for some time, cycling epitomised highly efficient transport, but now it’s also part of the solution for a low-carbon future:

Compared to the other top-emitting sectors, transport has made the least progress on reductions since 1990… Road transport accounts for the bulk of CO2 emissions from the transport sector – a massive 91%…

For last year’s Earth Day, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) highlighted the vital role of the bicycle in global climate action:

“There is no conceivable way to achieve the CO2 emission cuts needed by 2030 without significantly more cycling in as many cities and countries as possible. Investing in safe cycling infrastructure and in enabling citizens to make more of their daily trips by bicycle is, as the latest IPCC report attests, one of the best things governments can do to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis.”

Cycling is good for your health – and good for your breathing, as Bike For Breath point out:

What can you do about air pollution and asthma? A lot!  You don’t have to wait for a major government change or huge multi-million dollar research projects to change our world and make it a better place to breathe. All it takes is for each of us to make a very simple change in our lifestyles.

Finally, as the WHO says, cycling and walking can help reduce physical inactivity and air pollution, save lives and mitigate climate change:

Cycling and walking can help fight overweight and reduce physical inactivity, which causes one million deaths per year in the European Region. Both means of active transport can also help to reduce air pollution that claims more than half a million deaths every year. Evidence shows that investments in policies that promote safe cycling and walking can play a crucial role in shaping health, mitigating climate change and improving the environment, according to a new WHO publication.