A woman rides a bicycle along a bike path on the Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge in Paris, France, September 14, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Cycling’s governing body the UCI has signed the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework as it continues its push to become one of the world’s most environmentally friendly sports. More than 100 sports federations, including Formula 1, soccer, and rugby, are signatories to the Framework, which commits them to five principles to carbon footprints. Like all sports, professional cycling is on hold as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday, UCI director-general Amina Lanaya said tackling climate change by working alongside national federations and race organizers remains a priority.
“It is, therefore, logical that we play our part in the global sporting effort to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Signing the UN’s Sport for Climate Action Framework is a big step that our Federation is proud to take.” As well as making elite-level cycling as environmentally friendly as possible, the UCI aims to promote cycling as a preferred mode of transport — a vision shared by Britain’s former Olympic champion Chris Boardman. Boardman, who won track gold at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, has worked tirelessly to create a safer cycling infrastructure in Manchester, England. “I applaud the UCI for signing the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework as part of their commitment to greening the sport we love,” Boardman, Cycling & Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said in a statement. “Their recognition that cycling and active travel is part of the solution to the climate crisis — and their clear commitment to advocate for it — is very encouraging and something I am working hard to deliver in Greater Manchester.”
“The world is in the midst of the coronavirus emergency on which we are all rightly focused, but we cannot afford to ignore the ever-constant threat of climate change,” he said.
The five principles of the UN’s Framework are: 1 – To promote greater environmental responsibility 2 – Reducing overall climate impact 3 – Educating for climate action 4 – Promoting sustainable and responsible consumption 5 – Advocating for climate action through communication