For the climate: cycling like the Danes
Danes cycle about 1.6 kilometres every day. If everyone cycled that much, 414 tonnes of carbon dioxide could be saved every year. That is equivalent to the UK's annual CO2 emissions.
Global transport is responsible for a quarter of annual CO2 emissions - one of the causes of global warming. Half of these emissions now come from cars. By cycling every day, everyone could help reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by up to 700 million tonnes a year, according to a new study.
The main aim of the study is to show that cycling plays an important role in reducing CO2 emissions from transport, said lead author Gang Liu, who is a professor of green technologies at the University of Southern Denmark.
According to Liu, the debate so far has tended to focus on the benefits of electric cars. Yet annual CO2 emissions could be massively reduced just by cycling every day. The health benefits and the improvement of air quality are not even included.
Bicycles are rarely used
In this context, the study refers to the Netherlands and Denmark: Dutch people cycle about 2.6 kilometres a day, Danes about 1.6 kilometres. If everyone cycled as much as the Danes, 414 tonnes of carbon dioxide would be saved annually, which, according to the researchers' calculations, corresponds to the annual CO2 emissions of Great Britain. If everyone cycled 2.6 kilometres as much as in the Netherlands, emissions could even be reduced by 686 million tonnes per year.
According to the researchers, in the countries studied, the share of bicycle use for daily journeys was on average only five per cent.