A global campaign led by the European Cycling Federation (ECF), which included an open letter to governments at COP26 signed by 350 organisations worldwide, has helped achieve a last-minute recognition of active travel in the official COP26 Transport Declaration on 10 November.
Protesting the near-exclusive focus on electric cars and total absence of active mobility in the official Transport Day agenda and the draft transport declaration. A global coalition of civil society organisations led by ECF called on world leaders and governments to recognise the importance of cycling to reach climate goals.
The last-minute inclusion of active travel (walking and cycling) and public transport in the “Glasgow Declaration on Accelerating the Transition to 100% Zero Emission Cars and Vans” was a direct result of the joint advocacy efforts by ECF and its 349 allies. While the reference to active travel and public transport is a far cry from what’s needed to cut transport emissions and reach climate goals, it’s an important recognition that will be built upon at the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
The coalition’s open letter was first published on 2 November and called on governments at COP26 to boost global cycling levels to cut transport emissions quickly and on a massive scale. Initially signed by over 60 organisations, the letter ultimately clocked 350 signatories from all over the world.
Bicycle Queensland joined other signatories including the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), PeopleForBikes, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), International Association of Public Transport (UITP), World Cycling Alliance (WCA) and Greenpeace. Together we have campaigned to urge governments to recognise cycling as one of the best solutions we already have to combat the climate crisis.
Bicycle Queensland’s CEO, Rebecca Randazzo, “BQ advocates strongly on the role bicycles can play in combating climate change”. Substituting a car trip with a bike trip represents one of humanity’s greatest hopes for a shift towards a zero-carbon future. Riding your bike produces zero emissions, delivers far-reaching positive societal impacts and relies on technology that is already widely available today.
We can all influence and play a role in combating climate change. Over the past couple of weeks, the letter’s signatories have grown and helped raise awareness for the importance of more cycling to cut transport emissions and reach climate goals. Our joint message was simple: “the world needs much more people riding bikes if we are to combat the climate crisis.”
If you would like to write to your local councillor to ask what they are doing to reduce carbon emissions from transport, click here.