A new study has reached an important conclusion that will encourage people to use bicycles due to their role in reducing carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions.
The study, published by the journal Communications Earth and Environment, showed that the world could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 700 million tons per year, equivalent to Canada’s annual emissions, if everyone used bicycles for their daily commute, as the Dutch do.
The transportation sector accounts for a quarter of all current emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate warming, and global demand for transportation is expected to triple by mid-century.
Half of these emissions today are from cars.
To compensate for this shortfall, an international team of researchers established the first global database on bicycle ownership and use in 60 countries since the early 1960s.
The researchers showed that the number of bicycles produced during the period 1962-2015 exceeded the number of cars. The number of bicycles produced in 2015 reached more than 123 million, about two-thirds of them in China.
The average share of bicycle use for daily commuting did not exceed 5% in the 60 countries included in the study. In some of these countries, such as the United States, the number of bicycles in use is high, but users consider riding them as a leisure activity rather than a daily means of transportation, and often use cars for their nearby commute.
But the researchers proved, through their calculations, that if everyone traveled an average of 1.6 km per day on a bicycle, which is equivalent to the average daily distance that Danes cross, it would be able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the world by about 414 million tons per year. , equal to Britain’s annual emissions.
If bicycles are used for 2.6 km per day, as in the Netherlands, it is possible to reduce emissions by 686 million tons per year, as well as the health benefits of this means of transport and improve the quality of the air we breathe.
The main benefit of the study is that it shows that the bicycle can play an important role in reducing the carbon footprint of transportation, while the current debate focuses rather on the transition to cars, said Gang Liu, lead author of the study and professor in the Department of Green Technology at the University of Southern Denmark. electrical.
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