Cycling for the climate

This morning, Climate Envoy Marcel Beukeboom joined forty cyclists in a climate platoon headed for the international cycling conference, Velo-city 2017. With this cycling tour, he is calling attention to the role that bicycles can play in achieving the climate targets.

The platoon is comprised of cyclists who are committed to the climate, including representatives from the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the City of Utrecht, and Wageningen University. One of the participants in the platoon is former pro racing cyclist Daan Luijkx, founder of the sustainable cycling team Earth.

Climate messages

On the way, the platoon will be welcomed by Lot van Hooijdonk, chair of the mobility and sustainability executive committee of Utrecht. She will show the cyclists around the new bicycle parking facilities at Utrecht Central Station. Subsequently, they will head for Wageningen University, where Beukeboom will give a pitch, and then visit the climate info market. The final lap will lead to Arnhem, where the climate envoy will be welcomed by the Mayors of Arnhem and Nijmegen (the cities organising the Velo-city conference). At Arnhem railway station, the municipal councillors of Arnhem and Nijmegen will join the platoon for the final stretch uphill. At the stopovers, Marcel Beukeboom will be handed climate messages, which he will pass on, at the end of the ride, to the Chair of Velo-city 2017 and the Mayors.

Cycle Paris Home

The day’s theme, “Cycle Paris Home” ties in with that of the National Climate Summit: Bring Paris Home. Climate Envoy Beukeboom: ‘During this ride, I will try and interconnect a range of climate issues. For example, by cycling to companies and asking them to show what practical steps they are already taking to counteract climate change. By asking them what their message is to those attending the conference. And of course, what cycling means to them. I will subsequently do the same in the City of Utrecht and at Wageningen University.’

What is Velo-city?

The largest cycling conference in the world, Velo-city 2017, is taking place from 13 up to and including 16 June in the Arnhem-Nijmegen region. Some 1500 professionals from across the globe will meet to discuss the latest innovations in the field of cycling, and learn more about the bicycle-friendly design of cities and regions. The theme of this year’s conference is “the freedom of cycling”. On the final day of the conference, the European Cycling Strategy will be presented to EC member Bulc. This is a draft for the years ahead, aimed at enhancing the role of cycling in the European strategy.

What does Team Earth do?

The platoon is wearing Team Earth pro shirts. Team Earth is a sustainability pro team being set up on the initiative of Daan Luijkx, former team manager of the Vacansoleil cycling team. He wants to do away with the traditional idea of having purely commercial companies as sponsors. For that reason, he has had a shirt designed that can be adapted to his partners. For each match, the shirt is focused on one of the worldwide sustainability goals, in order to promote each one separately. The team is expected to commence as a pro team in 2018.