At Marrakesh's COP22, a bike-sharing platform pedals forward

300 “Medina Bikes” were rolled out on the opening day of the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh on 7 November, reviving a climate-friendly bike-riding lifestyle which has gradually lost ground among residents in the African city in recent years.

Residents of Marrakesh now have access to 300 “Medina Bikes”, the city’s new bike-sharing programme launched on the same day world leaders opened the United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP 22.

Launched by bike-sharing platform Smoove, one of the world’s largest, the fleet can be found in 10 strategically located stations throughout the city, including in iconic landmarks such as Koutoubia or Marjorelle Garden.

The “Medina Bikes” will be accessible to all attendees of COP 22 from 7 to 18 November, and will continue to be available for five years after the climate change conference, which is expected to draw more than 40,000 attendees.

Like in France, the bike was one of the main means of transport in Marrakesh. You can tell that a person is from Marrakesh if they have a bicycle at the front of their house.

Laurent Mercat, CEO, Smoove

Marrakesh used to have a vibrant bicycling community but this has gradually lost ground in recent years, observed Smoove CEO Laurent Mercat.

“Like in France, the bike was one of the main means of transport in Marrakesh. You can tell that a person is from Marrakesh if they have a bicycle at the front of their house,” Mercat said.

“Medina Bike is what will revive cycling,” he added.

The “Medina Bike” city bike-sharing programme is set up in partnership with “Estates Vision,” a local organisation. The bid for the project was organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), with funding from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).

The climate change conference in Marrakesh is the crucial next step for governments looking to operationalise the Paris Agreement adopted last year, said United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary Patricia Espinosa in another interview.

“This meeting is therefore incredibly important,” Espinosa underscored.

The “Medina Bikes” pedal forward with the message of the importance of working together to meet climate targets, one nice stroll on a bike at a time.

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