COP 23 participants and cyclists gathered on Sunday afternoon at the Bonn Zone for the Ride for Climate, a 10km bike ride along the Rhine to raise awareness of the importance of forests in climate change. The event was co-hosted by the UN-REDD Programme and the <2° Initiative, which debuted during the 2017 Tour de France as a way for the private sector to engage in climate action. Prior to the ride, the organizers and guests presented the event at the Bonn Zone’s main stage.
Mario Boccucci, Head of UN-REDD Programme, opened the event, noting that in order to avoid climate change, the fastest and most effective solution must be chosen. He explained that although forests are one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, they are also key in addressing climate change. Noting the opportunity to increase political commitment at every level, he stated that UN-REDD supports countries to achieve their climate change and forest goals.
Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway, observed that low emission transport and forestry are critical for urgent climate action. He added that forests hold a third of the solutions to implementing the Paris Agreement and called for mobilized action. He commended the ride as “symbolic for the rainforests” and encouraged the audience to ride with them.
René Castro Salazar, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), said that the protection of tropical forests in particular is necessary to stop deforestation, acknowledging the added value forests provide.
Matt Johnson, President, Slipstream Sports, explained that <2° Initiative was created first as a brand to represent the fight for climate change. He added that the Ride for Climate, was born out of the Initiative’s goals to scale up solutions for climate-friendly alternatives, such as cycling.
Bianca Jagger, IUCN Bonn Challenge Ambassador, commended the efforts of the Ride for Climate in the global effort to restore forests, and expressed hope that its goal of restoring 350 million hectares of land by 2030 would be met.
The ride, which was completed in a loop from COP 23’s Bonn Zone, promoted clean transport, but also drew attention to the important mitigating effects found in forests, along with the many other livelihood opportunities they provide. Riders, many of who rode on the Bonn City Bikes made available to all COP 23 participants, included Tour de France’s 2017 second place winners, the Cannondale-Drapac team, members of local bicycle clubs and COP 23 participants.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided web coverage of the event "Ride for Climate" on Sunday, 12 November 2017.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Herman Njoroge Chege
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Members of the Cannondale-Drapac team pose with distinguished guests.
René Castro Salazar, FAO, said that Ride for Climate would bring awareness to stop deforestation.
Bianca Jagger, IUCN Bonn Challenge Ambassador, underscored the importance of restoring forests and degraded land.
Mario Boccucci, Head of the UN-REDD Secretariat, said that addressing climate change through forestry is “the race that we need to win together.”
Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway, said that “we have a need for speed on planet action” and congratulated the “symbolic ride” for forests.
Matt Johnson, President, Slipstream Sports, said that the <2° Initiative and Ride for Climate would help provide more climate friendly alternatives.
Members of the German Cyclist's Association wait for the start of the Ride for Climate.
René Castro Salazar, FAO, joins the cyclists on the Ride for Climate.
Herbert Daurben, German Cyclist's Association, leads the Ride.
Kick-off of the Ride for Climate.
Ride for Climate cyclists symbolically ride into the forest.