Cycling, Climate Change and COP27
The humble bicycle will more than make its presence felt at the annual gathering on climate action which gets underway today in the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – otherwise known as COP27 – is taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh from 7 to 18 November. Heads of State, ministers and negotiators, climate activists, mayors, civil society representatives and CEOs are meeting for the largest annual gathering on climate action.
All are aware that the world is currently far off course from achieving the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. The task ahead is big – but not impossible. Climate change is a global problem and requires everyone to take climate action. This is not a win-or-lose race. Every fraction of a degree of global warming we avoid helps to prevent or lessen future impacts.
As the UCI highlighted on Earth Day this year, meeting climate goals will require transformative changes in the transport sector, with the bicycle a driver for making rapid and deep emissions reductions possible. Enabling more people to walk and cycle safely is essential to achieving the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The UCI is therefore proud to be a founding member of PATH (Partnership for Active Travel and Health), a new coalition calling on governments and cities to make a real commitment to walking and cycling as a key solution to the climate, health and equity challenges we face.
The UCI has joined PATH coalition members and other non-profit organisations in signing a joint letter appealing to national and city governments to commit to prioritising and investing in walking and cycling through Nationally Determined Contributions and integrated and coherent strategies, including plans, funding and concrete actions for:
- Infrastructure – to make walking and cycling safe, accessible and easy
- Campaigns – to support a shift in people’s mobility habits
- Land use planning – to ensure proximity and quality of access to everyday services on foot and by bike
- Integration with public transport – to underpin sustainable mobility for longer trips
- Capacity building – to enable the successful delivery of effective walking and cycling strategies that have measurable impact
On Solutions Day (17 November), the UCI will be hosting an interactive event in the UNFCCC Action Hub at COP27 in collaboration with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), an NGO which works with cities worldwide to bring about sustainable transport solutions that improve urban life. The UCI and ITDP will share insights from the UCI Bike City Label and ITDP Cycling Cities campaign on how transforming a city’s infrastructure, culture and urban planning strategy to strengthen the everyday use of the bicycle is an effective way to build more resilient, sustainable and active societies.
For more information and online viewing links for active travel and sustainable transport community events at COP27, see SLOCAT’s overview here.
UN SPORTS FOR CLIMATE ACTION
The emissions reductions needed to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society – including the sport of cycling.
Our sport is a platform to reach many people worldwide and inspire them to choose more sustainable behaviours. However, achieving credible recognition for sustainability is vital in building a level of acceptance and trust among local communities, public authorities, and the wider public. This is important for leveraging cycling events to engage towns and cities on the wider benefits of enabling more cycle use for everyday journeys.
Building up to the UN Sports for Climate Action event at COP27 on 10 November, the UCI will be shining a spotlight on other cycling organisations who have signed up to the Sports for Climate Action Framework and are already taking responsibility for their climate footprint.
Over the coming days, we will feature stories from the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships,HERO Südtirol Dolomites MTB Marathon, and Instafund Pro Cycling on how they are leading the way for climate action in cycling and taking steps to make our sport truly sustainable.
To hear more on how the UCI, SailGP, Formula 1, and World Sailing are pushing boundaries in sport sustainability for future generations, take a listen to the BE THE CHANGE IN 2022 podcast series of conversations organised by One Carbon World, in collaboration with the United Nations Climate Neutral Now Initiative:
Make sure you follow @Cycling and other UCI social media accounts for the latest updates on cycling at COP27.