Today marks the official launch of PATH, the Partnership for Active Travel and Health. PATH is a new global coalition calling on governments and cities to make a real commitment to
walking and cycling as a key solution to the climate, health and equity challenges we face.
PATH partners seek to unlock walking and cycling’s potential to accelerate the achievement
of climate goals and other benefits, through greater prioritisation and investment including
through national transport, health and environment strategies and other policy instruments. It
is comprised of leading organisations in the sustainable mobility community who collaborate
to promote walking and cycling and is coordinated by a core group consisting of the FIA
Foundation – who are funding the coordination work – Walk21, the European Cyclists’
Federation (ECF) and the UN Environment Program (UNEP).
To demonstrate the case for walking and cycling, PATH commissioned economic research
firm Decisio to produce a new headline report entitled Make way for walking and cycling. The
report, also launched today, draws on a wealth of existing research and studies to highlight
walking and cycling’s benefits and enormous further potential for the climate, air quality,
health and well-being. The report concludes:
- Road vehicles account for nearly three quarters of transport CO2 emissions and these numbers are increasing; 50 billion tonnes of CO2 will be emitted by urban transport in the next 30 years.
- Urban trips are expected to more than double between 2020 and 2050. 60% of them are shorter than 5 kilometre, a quarter are less than 1 kilometre, yet walking and cycling currently make up just a third of these trips, and more than half of them currently travelled by motorised vehicles.
- If electric cycling is factored in (extending distance covered to 10km), the potential for active travel exceeds 75% of all urban trips in the world.
- Walking or cycling 30 minutes a day is enough to meet WHO minimum health requirements and reduces the risk of premature death by 20-30%.
- Enabling more people to walk and cycle safely is a cost-effective and essential to achieving the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and will improve the lives of people all over the world.
- Giving priority and investing in walking and cycling, through Nationally Determined Contributions and integrated and coherent strategies, requires actions for infrastructure, campaigns, land use planning, integration with public transport and capacity building.
As the report reminds us, transport is the sector with the strongest growth in emissions.
However, the potential for replacing motorised vehicle trips with walking and cycling is huge
and within our grasp. Walking and cycling lack priority in the transport and mobility mix and
the wider climate agenda. PATH believes that a truly sustainable mobility paradigm must
include a much larger share of investment in walking and cycling.
Jim Walker, Founder of Walk21, said:
“Enabling a bigger share of urban trips to be walked and cycled is a quick, affordable and reliable way to significantly reduce transport emissions, traffic congestion and road casualties, and will also deliver improved public health, stronger economies and fairer societies.”
Jill Warren, CEO of ECF, said:
“As highlighted in the report, 60% of urban trips across the globe are shorter than five kilometres, with more than half of them currently travelled by motorised vehicle. Walking and cycling could replace a significant proportion of these short trips. Electric bicycles expand this potential even further.”
Sheila Watson, Deputy Director of the FIA Foundation said: “
“The FIA Foundation is proud to support the creation and work of PATH, which aims to catalyse further investments and concrete actions to enable and improve walking and cycling and deliver on global commitments made within the Paris Agreement. This includes the launch of this exciting new report, which will serve as a valuable resource for advocates, policy and decision makers to inform these commitments.”
Carly Gilbert-Patrick, UN Environment Programme added:
“Prioritising active mobility has historically been overlooked. That is why UNEP is proud to be a part of PATH. By taking multi-stakeholder action to investing more in walking and cycling we can contribute to achieving climate goals for people and planet.”
On the occasion of the COP27 Climate Conference, taking place November 6-18 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the PATH partnership is also publishing a joint open letter calling on governments and cities to commit to prioritising and investing more in walking and cycling, through Nationally Determined Contributions and integrated and coherent strategies, including plans and concrete actions for infrastructure, campaigns, land use planning, integration with public transport and capacity building. Read the full letter here.
‘Make Way for Walking and Cycling’ is the headline report to launch the partnership, highlighting multiple benefits of walking and cycling and enormous further potential for the climate, air quality, health and well-being.
PATH partners include: