COP28 UN Climate Change Conference 2023

Open letter
and Activities

Open letter

The Partnership for Active Travel and Health (PATH), with the undersigned organisations, calls on the UNFCCC, governments and negotiators of the COP28 climate conference to give more priority and investment in walking and cycling to significantly accelerate progress on climate goals and improve people’s lives.

Enabling more people to walk and cycle safely is crucial to decarbonising transport and achieving the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. As PATH’s research demonstrates, the potential for replacing motorised vehicle trips with walking and cycling is huge and within our grasp. Yet active transport still lacks priority in the UNFCCC and wider climate agenda and in commitments in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Although PATH’s latest research on national policy frameworks shows growing momentum for walking and cycling, with two thirds of UNFCCC countries having some kind of active travel policy in place, a closer analysis reveals that much more ambition, action and investment is needed almost everywhere to effectively unlock walking and cycling’s enormous potential to fast track the reduction of transport emissions, air pollution, traffic congestion and road casualties, and at the same time deliver improved public health, stronger economies and fairer societies.

PATH urges the UNFCCC to place a higher priority on walking and cycling in climate negotiations, and urges UNFCCC countries to develop their national policies and NDCs with a common vision: to encourage and enable people to have safe, accessible, comfortable, and enjoyable walking and cycling experiences to mitigate climate change, support public transport, reduce emissions, benefit public health, and create vibrant and inclusive societies.

Enabling more people to walk and cycle safely is a quick, affordable and reliable way to help reduce transport emissions by as much as 50% when the following key actions are adopted in national policies and anchored in their NDCs:

  • Infrastructure – to make walking and cycling safe, accessible and easy to do.
  • Campaigns – to support a shift in people’s mobility habits.
  • Land use planning – to ensure proximity and quality of access to everyday services on foot and by bicycle.
  • Integration with public transport – to underpin sustainable mobility for longer trips.
  • Capacity building – to enable the successful delivery of effective walking and cycling strategies that have measurable impact.

PATH has created the Active Mobility Policy Template to assist governments in developing more effective national walking and cycling policies, reflected in their updated NDCs in advance of the 2025 deadline. Countries are also encouraged to use the template when evaluating their progress in the COP28 global stocktake towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, identifying gaps, strengthening their commitments and taking more decisive action.

We are convinced that placing walking and cycling at the very heart of policies and commitments to address climate change is a fast-track way to achieve urgent climate goals. PATH and its supporters stand ready to support the UNFCCC Parties in
this process.

The COP28 letter is closed for signatures​

Thank you for your support in this successful campaign, which saw over 400 non-profit organisations from all over the world sign the letter to governments and negotiators at COP28.

The letter is now closed for signatures.

Current signatories

PATH Activities at COP28

Date and time
Organised by
Sat 2 Dec
PATH, ITDP, Despacio
Walking and Cycling Investments in NDCs for Climate, Health and Equity
Blue Zone (Side Event Room 3)