Combating Climate Change with… Bikes?

Colleen McMenamin, Staff Writer

Recently, the French government has prefaced a new and interesting way to tackle climate change. The French government is willing to give a large financial incentive in return for trading in older used cars for an electric bike. The incentive is 2,500 euros, which is equivalent to 2,975 American dollars. 

The main motive behind this to reduce emissions that are responsible for climate change. The French government aims to reduce climate change-causing emissions by 40% by 2030. This level of emissions would return France back to their emission level in 1990. The incentive has been approved by the national assembly in a preliminary vote and is part of a larger bill with other ways to reduce emissions. If put into effect, France would be the first country to offer the chase to trade in an old car for a new electric bike. 

This idea is an interesting and fairly new approach to combating CO2 emissions in the atmosphere because it is one of the first times where, on a governmental level, instead of trying to make cars more green or efficient, they are trying to reduce how many exist on the street. This type of approach will be much more effective if the incentive is taken; if it is not taken on a mass level, it will make almost no difference to the CO2 emissions. This idea is best summarized in the quote, “For the first time it is recognised that the solution is not to make cars greener, but simply to reduce their number,” said by Olivier Schneider of the French Federation of Bicycle users.