Though not as bad as animal agriculture, the transportation industry still makes up a huge part of the global emissions that are contributing to climate change. Two countries, Denmark and the Netherlands have been able to lower their emissions through a different mode of transportation: bikes.
According to a new study, if everyone biked as much as the Dutch, we would be able to cut nearly 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. These savings are equivalent to nearly all of the emissions from Germany. They also found that if everyone in the world cycled just one mile per day, we could cut 414 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
A team of researchers looked at what factors have made way for these countries to make this shift and if other countries might be able to adopt these transportation practices as well. Although it is hard to gather data on bicycles since they are not required to go through government agencies like motorized vehicles, researchers found that bicycle-focused transportation could eliminate emissions equal to a good-sized industrial country.
They found that many citizens of big countries owned both cars and bicycles but tended to use their cars more often because of the distance between things. They also found that transportation was so great in some countries that many people did not use their bikes. They concluded that things like wealth and the right location are needed for a bicycle-focused society.
Source: Bloomberg Quicktake: Originals/Youtube
Bikes use much fewer resources and last longer than cars. Not to mention countries like Denmark and the Netherlands have a much lower rate of obesity than other countries. Researchers found that if the world biked like Denmark, we could prevent 430,000 deaths per year, and Dutch levels of biking could prevent 780,000 deaths.
Although location, weather, and many other factors go into a country’s ability to shift to a bike-focused transportation system, we can learn some things from these countries! Check out this list of the Best Countries To Explore By Bicycle!
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