The wheels have turned, the pedals have spun, and the world has come alive with the resounding hum of change. The Move For Earth Global Cycle Ride, an initiative born from our collective passion to combat climate change, unfolded on August 27, 2023, in spectacular fashion. With the world as our ground, over 10,000 individuals from 300+ cities across the globe, representing more than 300 organizations, came together to make a statement – ‘our planet, our home, deserves better.’
Ahead of India hosting global leaders at the 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi, on the 9th and 10th of September, 2023, the Move For Earth community decided to draft an open letter to global leaders to take urgent action for a cleaner and sustainable future. The letter held keys demands for positive change in the right direction and was widely supported by with support from eminent personalities including Justice Anjana Prakash, Prof. Chetan Singh Solanki, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Mr. Kumi Naidoo, Mr. Tushar Gandhi, Ms. Liziwe Mcdaid, Mr. Raghu Rai and Mr. Shashi Tharoor. In addition to this, we launched our global cycle ride initiative to highlight the cause. Following this plan, on Sunday morning, as the world awakened to the urgency of climate action, we embarked on a journey to raise our voices, not in protest, but in unison, for the world is one family, and every member deserves a healthy home.
The Move For Earth Global Cycle Ride was about sending a resonant message to the world leaders. Our climate is in crisis, and the time for bold policy changes is now. The statistics are alarming, with global warming projected to rise, even in the best-case scenarios. We cannot afford to stand by and watch as the world heats up and natural disasters become the new norm. Therefore, highlighting this year’s G20 theme of Vasudhaiba Kutumbukum or ‘One Earth. One Family. One Future,’ we proposed to organize a global cycle ride that aimed to serve as a call for action to remind the world leaders of the urgency of the climate situation. Aligned with India’s priorities of environmentally-conscious practices and sustainable lifestyle, and inspired by its pledge to emission reduction, the Move For Earth initiative is all for promoting green mobility or sustainable transportation and advocating for policy-level changes to make it a feasible transition for all.
The effects of climate change are already wreaking havoc on the vulnerable, affecting water, energy, and food security. The poor and marginalized, especially women and children, have been bearing the brunt of these changes more than the others. And if we do not take decisive actions now, global poverty and hunger will only intensify, eroding the progress made towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Our choice of cycling as the means of expression for the cause was deliberate. Cycling represents sustainable, green mobility – a solution to reduce our carbon footprint and promote eco-friendly transportation. It was our way of standing the ground as we put forward our plea. On August 27, the cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Athens, New York, and countless others echoed in the rhythm of this collective cause.
Mr. Vinay Jaju, Managing Director, SwitchON Foundation India said, “Climate change is a global crisis with real consequences. The statistics are alarming, and we are already witnessing its effects on vulnerable communities. Our open letter outlines the severity of this very problem and suggests solutions regarding the same. The Move For Earth community is committed to championing this change, and all of us coming together today shows our commitment to the cause. Together, we shall ride to pave the way for a better and brighter future for all.”
Our global cycle ride was a direct call to action for deep, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and sector-wise consistent policymaking. The initiative has already met with positive responses from global leaders, including The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau – Prime Minister of Canada, Shri Nitish Kumar – Honorable Chief Minister of Bihar, Shri Arvind Kejriwal – Honorable Chief Minister of Delhi, Dr. Pramod Sawant – Honourable Chief Minister of Goa, and Shri Bhagwant Mann – Honorable Chief Minister of Punjab, who have expressed resounding support and enthusiasm for climate action, highlighting their commitment to addressing the crisis.
As we continue to move forward, we must prioritize sustainability over convenience, responsibility over recklessness, and the future of our planet over short-term gains.
The success of the Move For Earth Global Cycle Ride was not solely because of the cyclists who took to the streets; it was because of every individual who supported and cheered us on. You can still make a difference:
To sum it up, the Move For Earth Global Cycle Ride was a resounding success, but our journey is far from over. Climate crisis is real and it is affecting us all, regardless of where we live or who we are. With our feet on the pedals, we have taken the first step towards change. Now, it is your turn to join us, for the triumph of this community is a triumph for the planet. Let us all continue to #MoveForEarth.