Today, Moving for Climate NOW, an electric bike tour which left Paris on 30 October, arrived in Bonn where the team, that has reached a total of 40 cyclists over the 7 legs, was received by Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC and Inia Seruiratu, Fiji’s High-Level Climate Climate Champion.
UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa welcomed the cyclists to COP 23. “It is amazing to see so many people coming from Paris using low-emission electric bicycles. As the UN Climate Change process moves from Paris to Bonn and into the future, this should inspire us all to seek a path forward where our emissions are reduced, we embrace the technology that enables this shift and we raise awareness for the need for a deep transformation of societies. We all need to be moving for climate now – further, faster, together,” she said.
Fiji’s High-Level Climate Champion joined during the last leg to arrive in Bonn prior to the opening of COP23, when Fiji will take over from Morocco as President of the Conference of the Parties.
The Climate Champion said that it was a great pleasure to join the Moving for Climate NOW team on the last leg of their tour. “As the incoming Presidency, we have been very clear about the need to aim towards the Paris Agreement’s more ambitious target of limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Together, we must form a Grand Coalition for decisive action between governments at every level, civil society and the private sector,” he said.
“The Moving for Climate NOW team have taken the call for action across Europe. Every individual and organisation with the will and power to act has a part to play and we are very happy to endorse initiatives like this that help raise support for more urgent movement towards low carbon, resilient economies. And especially ones that also promote a healthy lifestyle, ” he said.
Organised by UN Global Compact Network Spain and Iberdrola, the second edition of this initiative, an official Summit event classified as an ‘endorsed initiative’ by COP23, gathered a multi-disciplinary cycling team of 40 people from different organisations and countries, with the purpose of raising awareness on the importance of facing the climate change challenges, uniting efforts in all areas and the implementation of ambitious and urgent measures to combat global warming.
Under the motto Moving for Climate NOW, the team included representatives from the Fijian community, UNFCCC, the European Commission, the Spanish Office of Climate Change, Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group, the International Energy Agency, World Resources Institute, IRENA, the European Investment Bank, OECD, AIESEC and Ayuda en Acción among others to defend that “we ALL need to move, pulling ALL the levers RIGHT NOW” in the fight against climate change.
The group delivered a Manifesto to the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC about the urgent steps required to achieve effective climate mobilisation, namely, as highlighted by Carlos Sallé, Energy Policies and Climate Change Director at Iberdrola: ”the commitment to renewable energies, the need to see the fight against global warming as an opportunity and not as a threat when building a sustainable economic model, the urgency to unite efforts in all sectors of the society and the importance of attracting green finance”.
The almost 800 km cycling ride between the capital of France and Bonn was divided in seven stages which the participants of Moving for Climate NOW travelled on electric bicycles, as a symbol of their commitment to a technology that is both beneficial to health and environmentally-friendly.
In addition, the initiative seeks to create a space for reflection on the various aspects of the climate issue. To this end, over the week-long tour, participants took part in daily debates on the various aspects that influence global warming, including climate change and energy transition, investments and finance for a low-carbon economy, the need to broaden awareness and communication, and mitigation policies. Of special relevance this edition were measures to adapt to climate change and protecting vulnerable communities as well as raising awareness on the importance of oceans and the vital role they play in regulating climate and the planet’s health.
“Climate is one of the pillars of the Development 2030 Agenda and it is a challenge that cannot be tackled individually. Collective action through partnerships enhances our chances of success, so our aim in this initiative is to broaden the level of engagement reaching to as many stakeholders as possible” stated Isabel Garro, Executive Manager at Global Compact Spanish Network.
The trip’s emissions were verified by CeroCO2 and its carbon footprint has been compensated by purchasing carbon credits from the UN's Climate Neutral Now and CeroCO2 platforms.
At the UN Climate Change Conference this year (COP23, from 6 to 17 November) nations of the world will meet to advance the aims and ambitions of the Paris Agreement and achieve progress on its implementation guidelines.
The conference, officially referred as COP 23/ CMP 13/ CMA 1-2, will take place in Bonn, Germany, hosted by the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and presided over by Fiji.
Eduardo González Ferrán, International Communication Iberdrola
Photo credit: Moving for Climate Action