If everybody bicycled just like the Danes, we’d keep away from a UK’s price of emissions

Image of long rows of parked bikes next to a cycling lane.

Enlarge / Bikes, infrastructure, and willingness to make use of each are all wanted for Netherlands-level biking use. (credit score: Scott E Barbour)

Transportation produces a couple of quarter of the world’s greenhouse fuel emissions, and passenger automobiles account for over half that determine. As such, almost each plan for future emissions cuts consists of some variant of getting individuals out of internal-combustion automobiles—sometimes into electrical variations of the identical automobile. However a few international locations have managed an alternate path to decrease emissions: Denmark and the Netherlands each have bicycle-focused transportation that will get many individuals out of automobiles completely.

A world workforce of researchers determined to look into what components have enabled these international locations to make that shift and what may occur if extra international locations adopted the same transportation focus. Two conclusions are clear: It is laborious to get dependable information on bicycles, and bicycle-focused transportation may remove emissions equal to that of a decent-sized industrialized nation.

What number of bikes are there?

We’ve got superb figures on the usage of motor automobiles by way of government-required licensing and registration information. For bicycles, that is nearly by no means the case, so the researchers needed to estimate the variety of bicycles current in most international locations. To take action, they took figures on the manufacturing, import, and export and mixed them in a mannequin with info on how lengthy bicycles sometimes final earlier than being junked. The info runs as much as 2015, so is already a bit old-fashioned, because the pandemic has boosted biking in lots of international locations, however the international locations they can make estimates for canopy 95 p.c of the worldwide GDP.

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