Increased Bicycling Will Help EU Meet Climate Targets, Report Says


If all Europeans bicycled as much as the people of Denmark, the European Union could achieve up to one-quarter of its target for carbon emissions reductions in the transportation sector by 2050, a new report says.

According to the European Cyclists’ Federation, the average Dane cycles about 2.6 kilometers a day. If that rate were achieved across the EU, it would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 55 million to 120 million tons annually, or 5 to 11 percent of the EU’s overall emissions target, by 2020. (By 2020, the EU has vowed to reduce emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels).

By 2050, a large-scale shift to cycling would represent a cut in C02 emissions of 63 million to 142 million tons, or 12 to 26 percent of the target reduction for the transportation sector.

Since the EU is unlikely to meet its targets with more efficient technology alone, the report says a shift away from cars is critical. Meanwhile, New York City transportation officials say the number of people bicycling in Manhattan this year is double the ridership in 2007, largely as a result of increased bike lanes across the city.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

1 Comment

  1. Enclosed velomobiles are bicycles that can travel in all weather and are even more efficient than a regular bicycle. The Human power Vehicle race has set records over 80 mph on human power alone. Sounds like a solution for the many 1 person commutes to and from work to me.