“It’s time for sustainable investments, not bailouts” cycling industry leaders tell the EU.
Cycling Industries Europe’s flagship annual event CIE 2020 Summit attracted a record number of over 500 business leaders and top EU officials at a virtual conference yesterday afternoon. Cycling has been identified as a huge opportunity to transform the way we move after the coronavirus crisis, creating opportunities for a green EU-wide economic recovery and delivering the EU’s Green Deal goals in terms of CO2 and air pollution.
CIE’s Chief Executive Kevin Mayne called upon the EU, governments, cities and regions to increase their ambition for cycling following the pandemic. He called for a €5billion e-bike access fund so that e-bikes can be available to everyone throughout the EU, to buy, to share and to enable small businesses to buy e-cargo bikes. He also called on all European cities to match Paris and the Ile de France who have fast-tracked 650 kilometres of new bike lanes for cycling and walking. This would create 150,000 kilometres of safe cycling lanes in Europe, just by maintaining current car restrictions and closed streets.
These actions will take pressure off public transport and congestion, improve air quality, cut emissions and deliver sustainable growth, all in line with the goals of the EU Green Deal. And most importantly these actions can start now, accelerating delivery of the Green Deal 2030 targets. Kevin Mayne said: “Economic recovery from the pandemic and key initiatives for the future sustainability and economic success of Europe are not distinct and separate paths. Through transition to sustainable mobility they can be steps on the same path”.
Joining cycling leaders at the Summit were top EU officials responsible for the EU Green Deal, transport, research, innovation and small business support. These included Daniel Mes, cabinet member for Commissioner Frans Timmermans (Vice President of the EU Commission responsible for the Green Deal), Jean-Eric Paquet, Director-General for Research & Innovation, Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director General Mobility and Transport, and Daniel Gassman, Head of Innovation Support at the Small and Medium Enterprises Agency. All the EU officials encouraged the cycling industries listening to make their case to the Commission and to EU governments because the coronavirus pandemic allows a rethink of many policies and funding streams.
Expert speakers and panelists such as Paul Lee, Global Head of technology research for consulting firm Deloitte highlighted the future of cycling in cities and the opportunities in cycling technologies and cycling businesses of all sizes, especially innovative small companies.
Tony Grimaldi, President of Cycling Industries Europe concluded “This summit confirmed for me how companies in the cycling industries are uniting to deliver a positive future for Europe. We have collaborated to survive the disruptions of the pandemic, and now CIE’s members are looking forward to build a better future by reinforcing the environmental and economic case for cycling. I look forward to many more companies joining this mission.”