Stage 7. Krakow - Katowice. Our message arrives to Katowice!!

Stage 7. Krakow - Katowice. Our message arrives to Katowice!!

More than 600 km behind us, tired legs, frozen bones … but the commitment remains intact or even stronger! After overcoming several hills in this last section and traveling through nature trails and urban areas, we have finally arrived in Katowice. A city with only 150 years of history, that is a precursor to a multitude of sustainable development initiatives.

Katowice is also the host city of the Climate Summit COP24; that will bring together the representatives of the countries of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, to finalise key elements of the Paris Rulebook and address the outcomes of the Talanoa Dialogue to inform future climate action.

Here we have brought our Manifesto, surrounded by the warmth and support of all the people we have met along the way. The delivery of the text to Ovais Sarmad – the United Nations Climate Change Deputy Executive Secretary and Jakub Gibek – the Head of Climate Policy Unit of the Minister of the Environment of Poland, in which we promote joint and immediate action against climate change, has been charged with emotion. On our arrival we have been able to make several group photos that will always remind us of the pride we felt at the end of such an exciting journey.

Today we finish our route, but when we get home we will continue our work promoting climate action and sustainable behaviours, because the fight against global warming must involve governments and organisations, but also each one of us in our daily routine. Let’s get moving for climate together.

Let’s get Moving for Climate Now!!

Stage 6. Bielsko Biala - Krakow. Climate policies

Stage 6. Bielsko Biala - Krakow. Climate policies

With 101 km, the second longest stage of our route has taken us to one of the most beautiful cities in Poland: Krakow. After crossing the Vistula River, we have made our entry to the former capital of Poland, and one of the largest, oldest and most important cities in the country. Krakow is the city of the arts and culture and its historical quarter has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Today´s route has been particularly challenging, with freezing temperatures and even with snow greeting us on our arrival to Krakow. Nevertheless, and despite the difficult conditions and the accumulated fatigue, we have demonstrated that union gives strength. Thanks to team effort everything is possible.

With the stage of today, and a step away from the goal of this trip, we have closed our cycle of debates talking about the “Climate policies” and the ways to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The right policies and the right tools are needed now. Every minute counts. Public authorities should take advantage of all opportunities for action to implementing the Paris Agreement, including new regulations, economic and fiscal instruments, public procurement to boost companies that are more committed to climate, leading by example at their own facilities, education and awareness schemes, etc.

We invite you to know the interesting contributions to this debate, and to the other topics discussed during the route, in the section “Our contribution to Talanoa Dialogue”.

Stage 5. Ostrava - Bielsko Biala. Corporate and private action

Stage 5. Ostrava - Bielsko Biala. Corporate and private action

After leaving behind Ostrava and its big surroundings dotted with urban areas, today we have entered into Poland through the Karviná district. The cold has continued to accompany us throughout the day, but there was sun and we have enjoyed every ray we have found along the 85 km of the route.

The place where we spent the night is Bielsko Biala; a small and charming city located in the south of the country, at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. Although the terrain was for the most part flat, there were some roller coaster stretches that added a little spice to the route. In particular, the last kilometres have been slightly uphill, affording us a fine opportunity to put both our bicycles and legs to the test.

Today’s debate has been around the leading role that companies and financial institutions can play in the fight against climate change. The private sector should use its resources to help create a low-carbon, climate-friendly and resilient economy as soon as possible. It is crucial to turn the climate challenge into a business opportunity. Moreover, sustainable financing, mainly from the private sector, will be key to tackle this challenge and, in particular, to achieve at least the annual $100 billion climate finance roadmap for 2020, set by the Paris Agreement.

Stage 4. Olomouc- Ostrava. Broadening climate action: communication, awareness and partnerships

Stage 4. Olomouc- Ostrava. Broadening climate action: communication, awareness and partnerships

With this stage between Olomouc and Ostrava we have crossed the equator of the trip. In addition, with its 105 km, it has been the longest leg of the entire route and the cold has tested again our resistance as we left Olomouc at -7ºC. To compensate, the road today has gone through narrow and quiet paths, where the beauty of the natural environment has compensated the longer distance to our destination.

Today we had to cycle for 95km until our lunch stop and after a well-deserved rest, there was only a short way to arrive to Ostrava, the third largest city in the Czech Republic and capital of the Moravian-Silesian Region.

Here we had an interesting discussion on our fourth topic of debate: Broadening climate action: Awareness, communication and partnerships. Only collective, organised and solidarity action can be effective against climate change. And for this reason, a strategy that makes this message reach every corner of the planet is essential. For this it is important to create opportunities to promote dialogue such as the facilitative Talanoa dialogue.

Please check our participants’ views on our section on Talanoa Dialogue.

Stage 3. Olomouc. The role of Nature in climate action

Stage 3. Brno - Olomouc The role of Nature in climate action

Today’s stage has been entirely developed on Czech roads. The first part was spent on flat terrain, but between km 20 and 50 … we had to work hard with 30 km of ascending road. After that, we were grateful that the road was downhill followed by a flat ride until the end of the route in the city of Olomouc, once the ancient capital of Moravia.

The cold has not made it easy. The thermometer read -2ºC when we left Brno, and 1ºC when we arrived in Olomouc, but the early climb and the good meal prepared by our support team helped us to warm a bit.

Today, as we cycled the 90 km of the route we enjoyed the view of leafy woods, frozen lakes and rivers, and extensive fields. Being in contact with nature reminds us of the important role natural ecosystems have in combating climate change.

Terrestrial and marine ecosystems play an essential role in climate regulation and, currently, absorb approximately half of human carbon emissions. However, the effects of climate change pose a significant threat to our natural systems, which are also affected by other human activities such as the degradation and loss of habitats, overexploitation of resources and the pollution. The interaction of all these threats results in a growing ecological imbalance and in a loss of quality of the natural goods and services on which all human activity depends, including our ability to cope with climate change.

The conservation and restoration of Nature are essential in the strategy against climate change, both in the dimension of mitigation and adaptation, and it is everyone’s responsibility to take action.

Stage 2. Laa an der Thaya - Brno. Just Transition to a sustainable energy model

Stage 2. Laa an der Thaya - Brno. Just Transition to a sustainable energy model

Our message on climate action has crossed its first border from Austria to the Czech Republic.

The day started a bit cloudy and even colder, but the rain was not accompanying us which made the ride much more enjoyable. This gave us time to indulge the eyes in the beautiful places we have crossed. First the reservoir of Dyje, and then a leafy forest in the vicinity of Brno, our final destination, and the second largest city in the country after Prague.

Today we have traveled a longer distance than yesterday, 91 km, and we have had some climbs which enabled us to make the most of our electric bikes, while also showing the importance of being part of a team that makes sure that no one is left behind.

In a similar way, we also need to ensure that our transition to a sustainable energy model is just and inclusive. A successful low carbon pathway requires the participation of all stakeholders. Alliances and measures to tackle impacts on vulnerable groups and countries will be crucial to leverage all the opportunities that involve an ambitious approach to climate action, that takes everyone into account.

Stage 1. Vienna - Laa an der Thaya. Technologies for the energy transition

Stage 1. Vienna – Laa an der Thaya. Technologies for the energy transition

On a rainy day with low temperatures, the cold has not taken long to be noticed. But it has not been anything compared to the warmth given to us by all the people who have gathered today at the headquarters of Sustainable Energy for All to wish us a good trip, and support our cycling expedition for climate action.

This first stage has served to warm up our (electric) engines, and to start entering into extraordinary places. Today, after leaving behind several kilometers of urban areas, we have traveled through huge fields of crops dotted with small wooded areas. A joy for the eyes and the lungs!

In a challenging route of 72 km, our team has shown its climate commitment and the importance of working together to reach our final destination, the Austrian city of Laa an der Thaya. Being the bike an example of a sustainable technology, beneficial for climate and people, the theme of today´s march was “technologies for the energy transition”.

We are witnessing a technological disruption process that is radically transforming our energy system. This disruption is taking place, both, on the production side, with an impressive cost reduction in renewable technologies, and on the demand side with, among others, significant improvements in energy efficiency and exponential uptake of electric vehicles pushed by the decrease in the cost of batteries.

Decarbonisation scenarios that a few years ago seemed impossible are now viable, due to technological process. However, as shown by the World Energy Outlook 2018, worldwide energy emissions increased by 1.4% in 2017, a resumption of growth after three years remaining flat. Scientists alert that this transition is not taking place fast enough to meet the climate targets. We need to accelerate the decarbonisation of the economy through a comprehensive policy mix that removes existing barriers, creates a level playing-field (based on the polluter pays principle), and increases investment in scientific and technological research.

We invite you to know the contributions to this one, and other topics of debate, in the section of our web “Our contribution to Talanoa Dialogue”.

Ready for the next stage!

We are on the road after presenting the manifesto to SEforALL in our departure from Vienna

The day has finally arrived and the Moving for Climate NOW team has already started to pedal towards COP24. Full of good energy we have cut the departure ribbon from the headquarters of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), marking the official start of this journey to raise climate awareness. In representation of the initiative, Carlos Sallé, Director of Energy Policies and Climate Change of Iberdrola, presented our manifesto to Ross Blackwell, Chief Administrative Officer of this initiative which has as core role putting universal access to modern energy services at the heart of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.

Ross Blackwell affirmed that "I wish you all the very best riding through the heart of the Europe that grew rich on fossil fuels, rich in the industry that they powered, and which is now facing up to its responsibility to lead the world in a new direction.

For his part, Carlos Sallé pointed out that “Moving for Climate NOW is an awareness initiative focusing on SDG 13 as we need to shift our production and consumption models. This crosscutting target is enabled by progressing on SDG 7, making clean energy accessible to all”.

We start our journey to COP24 by delivering our Manifesto to the Spanish government's High Commissioner for Agenda 2030

We are ready to go! This morning Moving for Climate NOW has been received at the Moncloa Palace by the Spanish government's High Commissioner for Agenda 2030, Cristina Gallach. A representation of the cyclist team presented Gallach with the Manifesto we will take to the Climate Summit (COP 24).

The CEO of Iberdrola España, Ángeles Santamaría, and the Spanish United Nations Global Compact Network vice-president, Víctor Viñuales, were present at the event, as representatives of the organisations promoting this initiative, which is now on its third iteration.

Ángeles Santamaría affirmed that "the energy transition towards decarbonisation will require everyone to contribute, along with courage in decision making, constancy in execution and sensitivity towards vulnerable communities, so as not to leave anyone behind. It's technically and economically possible, it's an opportunity and, moreover, there's a demand from society that demands future answers”.

For his part, Víctor Viñuales explained that "climate is one of the pillars of the United Nations Agenda 2030 and it is a challenge that we cannot face individually. Collective action through alliances reinforces our chances of success, so our goal with this initiative is to expand the level of commitment reached to the largest possible number of stakeholders”.

The vice-president of the Spanish United Nations Global Compact Network added that "to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), we need collective action, government commitment, private sector drive, awareness and metrics".

Vienna: Ready, steady...

Go! The next Moving for Climate NOW ride is here at last. In just a few days' time we will be starting our own cycle trip to the UN Climate Summit, where we will deliver a message of unity and immediate action against climate change. After the experiences of previous years, which took us to Marrakech and Bonn, this year we are undertaking a journey that will end in Katowice (Poland), where the COP24 will be held.

But where will we be starting from? Spectacular Vienna, the city located on the banks of the Danube whose backdrop is the foothills of the Alps. The capital of Austria is also the headquarters of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), which is our specific departure point.

Vienna is also the city that hosts the UN's third headquarters, after New York and Geneva. Did you know that the historic centre has been declared a World Heritage Site due to its enormous cultural value? These are some of the details we will be revealing during the days before we set off. Don't lose sight of us!