Bogotá goes bike friendly: The Meeting of the Americas on Climate Change
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Bogotá goes bike friendly: The Meeting of the Americas on Climate Change

Bogotá, Colombia, has an impressive carbon footprint. The Andean capital produces 19,142,000 tons of Co2 each year, that’s equivalent to 2.46 tons in carbon dioxide emissions per person, per year.

Not surprisingly, these worrying statistics have caught the attention of more climate conscious cities and environmental organizations across the globe.

From September 20 to 23, Bogotá will be hosting the Meeting of the Americas on Climate Change, as over 100 international guests will descend on the city for a series of talks and events to inspire green thinking, daily El Tiempo reports.

Susana Muhamad, environmental secretary and a driving force behind the event, hopes to reduce Co2 emissions to 480 kilograms by 2050.

But are such optimistic figures achievable? Or is it a case of too little, too late for Bogotá?

On yer bike

In a city of between eight and million people, according to 2014 figures, how can Bogotá “go green” considering its mass transport system can’t cope under the strain of the daily commute. The answer on September 22 will be in the form of the humble bicycle.

Muhamad and Bogotá’s city council intend to send a letter from Bogotá, including a photo of the 20,000 cyclists expected to take to the streets along the city’s Avenida Septima, to the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) outlining some of the issues the capital faces.

“A bike consumes 50 times less energy than a car.” This tweet reads.

This will be the city’s third car free day this year.

The letter will also include a detailed account of the September 22 “Día sin Carro” (Car free day) during which Muhamad hopes around two million people will hop on their bikes.

“We need to consider sustainability, which we will achieve if the city’s residents habits and consumption rates change.” she told El Tiempo.

Certainly, Bogotá is aware and ready for change, but a lack of cycle routes and petty crime continue to pose problems for cyclists across the city.

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