UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Deputy Executive Secretary, Ovais Sarmad, welcomes the cyclists from Moving for Climate NOW initiative. C.Arthur Wyns
The UN Climate Change Conference COP24 has commenced in earnest in Katowice, Poland. A team of motivated volunteers arrived at the conference venue on e-bikes, having cycled more than 600 kilometers from Vienna, Austria to Katowice in Poland.
Under the banner 'Moving for Climate NOW', a diverse group of about 40 people demonstrated the value of cycling and e-mobility to reducing emissions. The cycling team brought a "Moving for Climate NOW Manifesto" to Katowice as its contribution to the climate talks. This year's climate talks bring together organizations committed to building up global forces and mobilizing society to tackle climate change.
Astrid Manroth, Director Delivery and Impact at the African Development Bank, was one of the cyclists that arrived at the climate talks by bike. "I decided to join the 'Moving for Climate NOW initiative' as I wanted to contribute to raising awareness that climate change is an existential challenge for all of us that cannot wait - we need to take decisive action now", she said.
"The actions of individuals outside these conference halls matter as much as the political process at COP24," stated Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as he welcomed the cyclists upon arrival.
"This is the most important COP since the signing of the [Paris] agreement, and we need initiatives like yours to testify that governments, private sector and individuals can work together to tackle climate change by committing to multilateralism," Mr. Sarmad added.
African Development Bank director Astrid Manroth cycled more than 300 km to reach COP24 in Katowice C. Arthur Wyns
The transition to low-carbon transport needs to come from both individuals and institutions, Astrid reflected upon arrival. "Unfortunately, in Africa, public transport is still underdeveloped in many cities. As African Development Bank, we should help our client countries and cities to develop low-carbon sustainable public transport solutions."