370 skyscrapers of CO2 saved by Londoners on bikes every year

14 December 2015

Cycle journeys in London save the equivalent annual carbon emissions of 82,000 cars; that much CO2 would fill London’s Gherkin building 370 times.

As the historic UN international climate talks drew to a close in Paris, Sustrans reveal the massive greenhouse gas savings made by people cycling here in the capital.

New evidence from Sustrans London shows that over 260,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases were saved from cycling journeys made in London in 2014.

Figures shared by the charity who created the National Cycling Network 20 years ago, show the estimated number of cycling trips in London increased to over 222 million in 2014.

 

Commenting on the findings, Matt Winfield, Acting Sustrans London Director, said:

“When it comes to tackling transport emissions here in London, it’s clear that cycling is one of the best investments the new Mayor can make.’

“Cycling numbers are growing rapidly but still account for only a fraction of all journeys taken in London, yet the greenhouse gas savings for these journeys are estimated at over two hundred and sixty thousand tonnes. The benefits for our environment of enabling more people to get on their bikes for everyday journeys are enormous.”

If Londoners can hit the target in the Mayor’s cycling vision of 1.5m cycling trip per day by 2026 we’d save over 641,000 tonnes of carbon a year, equivalent to the emissions of over 200,000 cars.  That’s why continued investment under the Mayor’s Cycling Vision is essential for London.

 

Gunjan Parik, Head of Transportation Initiative at C40 CITIES, climate leadership group said:

“Cities are responsible for creating over 70% of global CO2 emissions and transport emissions account for a major part of those; which is why cities and transport policies have such a major role to play in tackling climate change.’

“The Sustrans London research released today shows the impact cycling can have on emissions, in London and beyond. Since the last major COP in Copenhagen, C40 cities have taken 10,000 climate actions and committed to reducing their CO2 emissions by 3 Gt by 2030 – encouraging more cycling in cities will be a key part of these efforts. C40 hails the progress made to date in London and looks forward to supporting ambitious cycling programmes in cities around the world”. 

 

Transport emissions account for more than 20% of total London emissions. It’s clear that enabling people to get around under their own steam will be crucial to achieving London’s climate change ambitions.

 

For more information contact the Sustrans’ Press Office on 0207 7807 231 / [email protected]

 

ENDS

Average cycle journeys per day in London in 2014 (source: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/record-cycling-numbers): 610,000. Estimated annual trips: 222,650,000

Transport represents 20% of co2 emissions, according to the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory: http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/london-atmospheric-emissions-inventory-2010

Transport for London (2014) Transport Emissions Roadmap: cleaner transport for a cleaner London: http://content.tfl.gov.uk/transport-emissions-roadmap.pdf

Cycling currently accounts for 2% of trips in across London, but analysis suggests 20% could be (TfL, 2010, Analysis of Cycling potential: http://content.tfl.gov.uk/analysis-of-cycling-potential.pdf)