Green ride for a climate-friendly future organized in Delhi

The German & the Dutch Embassies, together with the EU Delegation to India, as well as GIZ & Delhi by Cycle, teamed up with many bicycle lovers to get on a green ride for a climate-friendly future as part of the EU Climate Diplomacy Weeks.

The bike ride was organized through Delhi with over 200 participants.

Dr. Steffen Koch from the German Embassy said: “We are very enthusiastic that much more people came than we had expected. We should all together promote the bicycle as a form of transportation. COP26 is coming up with the goal of reduce global emissions further. Traffic is a major contributor to emissions with 20-30% worldwide. Here, we can all work together and bicycles are an optimal tool to tackle this challenge. Let’s spread the gospel and let’s go all on more bicycle rides.”

Joost Geijer from the Dutch Embassy said: “This has been a success and it can grow even bigger next year. But soon, in Delhi, the air quality will get worse. And this is connected to stubble burning but also to topics like the use of coal that we have to address at COP26 in Glasgow. They are the big challenges. Once the pollution goes down, cycling will mushroom in the city.”

Vaishali Nandan from GIZ said: “Transport is one of the major polluters – in some places it accounts for 50% of pollution. So cycling is one very important answer to this problem, it was impressive to see so many cyclists today. Our project from GIZ is working with the Indian Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. There we monitor all the Smart Citiesand put climate in the focus.”

Edwin Koekkoek from the Delegation of the European Union to India said: “With this cycle event, that is part of the EU climate diplomacy weeks, we want to increase awareness, ambition and action. It was my first bicycle ride in Delhi and I really loved it. We should do this again next year.”

Himanshu Shekhar from Delhi by Cycle said: “I am in love with cycling! When you are on a bicycle, you are part of your environment and you are part of the people culture. Socially, cycling is considered to be a poor man’s activity in India. More than one million people in Delhi cycle to their work every day but they are so poor that we don’t see them. So, this event today is a beautiful initiative. We need to make our cities more cycle-friendly, more people-friendly. Thank you everyone for joining us today!”

Interestingly the national capital does not have cycling lanes and neither the organizers nor the participants of the event urged the state government to develop cycling lanes so that cycling can be included in our daily activity for commuting without the fear of traffic congestion or accidents.