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LISBOA 6-9 SEPTEMBER 2021

How can riding a bike mitigate climate change?

Blog How can riding a bike mitigate climate change?
Regardless of what city or country we live in, one thing we can be sure of is that there won’t be a Planet B to call home. What role can then cycling play in mitigating the climate crisis?
Regardless of what city or country we live in, one thing we can be sure of is that there won’t be a Planet B to call home. The absence of joint effort will lead to an increase in global temperatures beyond the 3°C thresholds, which will in turn affect irreversibly every existing ecosystem. Taking urgent action to tackle global warming is therefore not an option anymore.

According to the United Nations Organization’s IPCC Climate Report, we faced between 2010 and 2019 the hottest years ever experienced. Most scientists argue that a “global disaster” is already unfolding at earth’s poles, while some countries are already experiencing severe impacts of climate change, ranging from natural disasters to food and water scarcity. The question is: What role can cycling play in mitigating the climate crisis?



The bicycle appears to be key in building up resilience in cities, changing travel behaviour patterns, as well as bringing healthier lifestyles and better air quality. Indeed, cycling doesn't emit any kind of greenhouse gas, while its cost and the infrastructures it requires are cheaper than for any type of automotive vehicle. Cycling to school, to work or to any other place will only require our leg strength, while it will greatly help to reduce our ecological footprint. Cycling therefore appears as an excellent measure to adopt and to widely spread in our cities, to help to mitigate the effects of climate change, while improving the quality of life of every citizen.



The climate crisis is a complex and global issue, which involves economic, social and political affairs. Working towards sustainable solutions will require a globally-coordinated response, as well as local efforts from countries, regions and cities. While the European Union aims at reducing by 90% of its transport-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, most developing countries are undertaking actions to formulate and implement National Adaptation Plans. Indeed, in 2019, 120 developing countries (out of 153) were working towards enhancing their climate adaptation and resilience through these national plans, where the bicycle will most certainly have a role to play too.

Climate change is now affecting every country in the world, and it’s in our hands to turn things around. Let’s choose to ride our bikes instead of using our cars, and let’s contribute to a more sustainable future!


By Rita Silva
December 29th, 2020