Cycling to be key to meeting EU Green Deal targets

Increased cycling levels across Europe should form a key pillar of the EU meeting the objectives of its Green Deal, which hopes to shave 90% off transport emissions by 2050.

Taking part in a public consultation on how to meet such a lofty ambition, a trio of key European cycling orgs – the European Cyclists Federation, trade-body Cycling Industries Europe and CONEBI – have put forward a recommendation to the EU that will go a long way to slashing transport emissions.

Specifically, the European cycling associations have jointly called for:

1) The treatment of cycling as an equal partner in the mobility system;

2) €6bn in EU funding for safe, high quality cycling infrastructure;

3) Improving the EU Urban Mobility policy framework;

4) Enabling a centralised €5.5 bn EU E-bike Access Fund to make the benefits of e-bikes available in all countries in the EU and stimulate further job creation ; and

5) Developing and implementing a genuine EU Cycling Strategy.

ECF co-CEO Jill Warren said: “There is simply no conceivable way for the EU to achieve a 90% reduction in transport emissions and to reap the enormous potential benefits to the environment and citizens’ health without a major, further shift towards more cycling, so we are counting on the EU to enable this shift with clear targets, effective policies and adequate funding.”

CONEBI General Manager Manuel Marsilio added: “The EU Bicycle Industry is a major contributor to the EU competitiveness, innovation, sustainable and smart mobility goals defined in the European Green Deal. In 2019 sales of e-bikes increased by 23% in comparison to 2018, resulting in 3.4 million units sold and showing a big potential for a modal shift from individual motorised transport to more cycling.”

CIE CEO Kevin Mayne concluded: “In the period to 2030 cycling will deliver a fast start to the EU Green Deal, building on the rapid transition to cycling already seen in the COVID19 recovery. The cycling sector provides industrial leadership and sets new milestones for Europe to be a leading industrial force in transport, in both sustainable and connected mobility, so the EU Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy needs to embrace cycling to help unlock its huge potential.”

The full ECF, CIE and CONEBI feedback on the Green Deal consultation can be read here.