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On your bike: If we all cycled like the Dutch, global emissions drop nearly 700 million tonnes

On your bike: If we all cycled like the Dutch, global emissions drop nearly 700 million tonnes

A woman with a bike in Amsterdam. The Netherlands has some of the highest rates of cycling in the world. If everybody cycled as much…

Friday, Aug 19

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A woman with a bike in Amsterdam. The Netherlands has some of the highest rates of cycling in the world. If everybody cycled as much as the Dutch, global carbon emissions would drop by nearly 700 million tonnes per year.

A new University of Southern Denmark study – published by the Communications Earth & Environment journal – has urged people to saddle up like they do in the Netherlands.

Dutch people cycle an average of 2.6 kilometres each per day. If this pattern was replicated worldwide, the study suggests, annual global carbon emissions would drop by 686 million tonnes.

This mammoth figure exceeds the entire carbon footprint of most countries, including the UK, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Australia.

“The significant untapped climate and health benefits of increasing bicycle use suggest an urgent need to promote sustainable bicycle use ,” the authors conclude. What are the environmental and health benefits of cycling?

There are plenty of reasons to get on your bike.

On an individual level, it is a great way to stay fit and healthy, staving off the chronic diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle. People who cycle to work have a 45 per cent lower risk of developing cancer , and a 46 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular disease.But it’s not just good for you – it’s great for the environment, too. The Netherlands has well developed cycling infrastructure. The transport sector accounts for a quarter of global fuel-related greenhouse gas emissions, with half coming from private vehicles, including passenger cars and […]

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