Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone

The Netherlands Launches ACTIVE at COP28

6 December 2023

On December 5th, 2023, the Minister for the Environment Vivianne Heijnen unveiled ACTIVE at a high-level COP28 side event. ACTIVE, standing for the Alliance for Cycling and Walking Towards International Vitality and Empowerment, is a programme led by The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg with an aim to train 10,000 mobility experts in the Global South over the next decade.

Current levels of  transport emissions are not in line with the goals set in the Paris Agreement. Yet, there is a growing number of ways to abate these emissions across the spectrum: avoid (emissions), shift (to the cleanest modality) and improve (the modes of transportation). To accelerate the decarbonization of the transport sector, this side event highlighted strategies for expanding the shift towards active mobility, as well as the adoption of zero-emission buses and freight vehicles.

Cycling and walking are key solutions to improving accessibility, health, climate and livability within and between cities. At COP27 a Call for Action on Active Mobility spurred the creation of the Global Capacity Building programme. ACTIVE, its successors, aims to forge a coalition of nations and organizations, dedicated to stimulating active mobility on the global stage. The Dutch Cycling Embassy, a Dutch organization working to promote cycling, is excited about participating in ACTIVE and facilitate trainings and connections.


State Secretary Heijnen: “If you want to make cities more sustainable, you should not only think of vehicles with engines such as cars and trucks. The bike is an excellent replacement for short car rides. And by stimulating cycling you can make the difference: children who can go to school because it is too far on foot and not by bike. Or adults who see a better job coming within reach because they can cycle there, and thus support their families.”



In 2023, six workshops were held in countries such as India, Ghana and Colombia. In 2024, there will be twelve, the year after that double as much, and then again, and so on. The countries where a workshop will take place next year include: Mexico, Indonesia, Tonga, Kenya and South Africa.

In the workshops, Dutch cycling experts, together with local organizations and drivers, look at the bottlenecks in the cycling sector. For example, it is looked at where bicycle paths can be built and which funds can be tapped for this.



On December 6th, at the Residence of the Consul-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, stakeholders gathered in the morning for a Breakfast Session to continue the launch of ACTIVE. The session aimed to foster commitment among participating countries and organizations to support the forthcoming Active Mobility Fund. This fund is designed to improve access to funding for low- and middle-income countries, thereby catalyzing the development of active mobility policies and infrastructure. After a warm welcome from State Secretary Heijnen, the session continued with presentations from the World Resources Institute, World Bank, and Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.



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