Sunday, 17 January 2021

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How does cycling help achieve the Global Goals?

BXL Tour 2017 Rue de la Loi Wetstraat 04|©Zinneke

Today is the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and the United Nations Team in Brussels is delighted to announce that they will be taking part in the second edition of the BXL TOUR, a festive cycling race taking place in Brussels in June this year. The 2018 edition will be 28Km, mirroring the 2019 Tour de France (TdF) Brussels time trial stage which will actually be used by the Tour de France organizers as a test for next year’s official stage.

As a mode of transport and healthy everyday activity, cycling can play a significant role in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)*.

Otherwise known as the Global Goals, they are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Globally, bicycle use is on the rise: there are already more than two billion bikes in use around the world, with this number predicted to rise to five billion by 2050. Bicycles are simple and durable, and are easy and cheap to repair. They have the particular advantage of being a means of transport that the general population can afford.

How does cycling help achieve the Global Goals?

The World Cycling Alliance has calculated** that cycling is directly linked to delivering on 11 of the Goals.

It is an affordable and simple mode of transport enabling access to education, jobs, markets, and community activities in both urban and rural areas. (SDG1)
Cycling allows for better access to food markets and communities. (SDG2)
It generates beneficial health effects due to decreased air pollution emissions, decreased greenhouse gas emissions and increased levels of physical activity. (SDG3)

It improves access for women and girls to water, schools, markets and jobs that may otherwise be inaccessible through available transport means. (SDG5)

As an energy efficient form of transport, it uses renewable human power in the most efficient way, and e-cycling offers access to the use of efficient e-mobility technology. (SDG7)

The cycling sector creates more jobs for the same turnover than any other transport sector. (SDG8)

Increased numbers of cyclists make it easier for governments to build resilient infrastructure and sustainable transport systems for economic development and human well-being. (SDG9)

Cycling is an efficient way of using expensive and scarce space in urban areas, making settlements more inclusive, safe, and sustainable, as a healthy, clean and cheap mode of transport. (SDG11)

The transportation of people and goods by bicycle matches perfectly with the diversity and scale of regional and local economies. (SDG12)

Environmentally, it is a symbol for decarbonizing transport and societies; it offers the possibility for immediate climate action. Governments at all levels can take action by integrating cycling into their climate action policies, strategies, eduation and awareness-raising (SDG13)

Finally, the participation of all actors involved in the cycling movement supports the global partnership for sustainable development. (SDG17)

Additional links:

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 

European Cyclists’ Federation 

World Cycling Alliance 

ECF Publication: “Cycling Delivers on the Global Goals – Shifting towards a better economy, society, and planet for all” 

*On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force. Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

**Copyright and credits to the European Cyclists’ Federation’s publication: “Cycling Delivers on the Global Goals – Shifting towards a better economy, society, and planet for all”

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