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Cycling can create at least 76 600 jobs and save 10 000 lives every year in major European cities

Over 76,600 people would be employed in green and healthy transport every year and 10,000 lives would be saved if major European cities reached the cycling modal share of Copenhagen. This is the conclusion of a new publication released by UNECE and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, with substantive and financial support from UNEP. For the first time, Unlocking new opportunities estimates that investing in “green and healthy transport” not only has positive health and environmental effects but is also economically profitable.

Transport, health and environment come together in Paris
The new findings were presented by Jan Dusik, UNEP’s Director, Regional Office for Europe on the occasion of the Fourth High-level Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment, organized by UNECE and the WHO Regional Office for Europe and hosted by France. From 14 to 16 April 2014, European ministries of transport, health and the environment gathering in Paris examined how innovative transport policies can create employment opportunities, along with healthier and greener societies.

Summarising the report, Mr Dusik said: "Multiple benefits of sustainable transport for health and environment, as well as creation of green jobs in this sector, are a clear proof that green economy is possible in practice and already happening".

Cost of transport threatens to offset benefits

Transport provides jobs and access to leisure activities and livelihoods. On the other hand, the overall costs associated with the environmental and health impacts of transport can be up to 4% of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP). In the WHO European Region outdoor air pollution, largely caused by traffic, results in almost 500 000 deaths annually, according to new evidence. Road accidents kill 90 000 people prematurely each year. Exposure to excessive street noise affects almost 70 million people. Transport adds 24% to total greenhouse gas emissions in Europe and North America. When it discourages physical activity, transport contributes to nearly 1 million deaths per year.

To access the report:

THE PEP – a unique policy platform

THE PEP, run jointly by UNECE and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, addresses basic questions of how best to move around in cities.

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