Cutting carbon by cycling in France

Published by Lyn on 1 May 2022

The Mai à vélo website has launched to boost cycling in France during the month of May.

On the school run (Mum has the extortiontely heavy school bag with all the stuff he takes but doesn't actually need).

On the school run (Mum has the ridiculously heavy French school bag with all the stuff he takes but doesn't actually need).

Mai à vélo is an initiative aimed at promoting cycling as a form of transport in France.

The website carries information and advice (in French) on how you can get cycling for everyday transport. There are also various pages for events and promotions aimed at boosting cycling uptake.

For me, the most interesting element is an easy-to-use simulator that tracks your carbon use wherever you go in France. It gives you an estimate of how much carbon you're saving each time you choose to cycle (or use an e-bike, e-scooter or electric car) rather than a conventional car.

For example, it shows that by cycling to school every day, our family saves 0.77 kgCO2e in each direction. That's about 24.64 kgCO2e a month.

Carbon emissions cycling in France

(In case you're wondering, this short paper from Matthew Brander explains what all the numbers and letters mean).

You can search by just punching in your mileage (if you know it) or by your itinerary. There is also a tab for working out how much carbon you save by working from home.

You can add aeroplanes, trams and other forms of transport in for more detailed searches, which means you could work out an estimate for your entire carbon output on a cycling holiday in France.

It's a great initiative and follows other government-backed schemes to get people cycling in France. For example, during the pandemic, there was a scheme to encourage people to cycle instead of taking public transport (to help cut COVID transmission).

Recent years have also seen heavy investment in cycling paths and véloroutes to promote cycle tourism in addition to commuter riding.

See also:

Cycling in Paris in the post-COVID world

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