ECF, Climate change, 05.09.2014
ECF’s aim, to get ‘more people cycling more often’, is a win-win situation for meeting both the target of a 40% emissions reduction by 2030 and the EU’s energy security goals. Making up a fifth of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, reducing emissions from the transport sector is key to meeting the 40% targets
Why cycling matters
The heavy focus on improving technology through energy efficiency, rather than encouraging behavior shifts and avoiding unnecessary trips, is limiting the ability of the EU to meet these goals. Improving technology is a step in the right direction and it will help us to a certain extent, but it won’t be enough to reduce our energy dependence and emissions sufficiently.
Modal shift potential
The potential for a modal shift is huge as 50% of all car trips are under 5km so they could feasibly be replaced by cycling. Cycling innovations, such as the electric bicycle, amplify this potential as they facilitate cycling; e-bike users are proven to cycle more often and over longer distances than their counterparts. Cargo bikes adds further weight to this argument, as 25% of urban deliveries could easily be made by bike.
Political commitment needed
Removing the road allocation bias
This bias must be abandoned if we are to meet emissions reductions and energy security goals. If the EU starts to focus on a modal and behavioral shift rather than primarily technology improvement, cycling will have a fighting chance at helping the EU meet their goals.
This article was also published on CommentVisions as part of an online debate on the question: ‘In what ways can the EU achieve both the proposed 2030 40% emissions target and its energy security goals?’.