Walking the key to tackling climate and obesity

The “twin crises” of global warming and obesity could be tackled effectively if walking was recognised more as a means of transport.

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That is the message from a new report published last month by the London-based Institute for European Environmental Policy. It says if all drivers were to replace 6 kilometres per week of car journeys by walking – totalling about an hour a week – it would save more than 15% of the total emissions from passenger cars.

The report “Unfit for Purpose: How car use fuels climate change and obesity” is based on British figures, but the authors say the message is valid throughout Europe. They argue that renewed efforts to promote walking as transport would be vastly cheaper than dealing with the consequences of widespread obesity and climate change.

Carolina Valsecchi of the IEEP said: “The twin crises of obesity and climate change are clearly interlinked through the switch from muscle power to engine power for transport. Concerted action is needed to reverse this trend.”

This news story is taken from the September 2007 edition of T&E Bulletin.