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 that a shift away from cars is critical.