The Management Committee of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) met on 3 and 4 February. With travel restrictions still in place worldwide because of the health crisis (coronavirus pandemic), the meeting of the Federation’s executive body again took place by videoconference, and not during the recent UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Ostend (Belgium) as originally planned. The UCI Management Committee approved a plan to improve rider safety, approved a new strategy for sustainable development, awarded the UCI Bike City label to new cities and regions, and attributed the organisation of several events.
On the subject of solidarity programmes, which are fundamental for the equitable development of cycling, the UCI Management Committee learned of the report of activities carried out in 2020 by the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC). Despite the difficulties encountered throughout the year, the UCI WCC continued to support the UCI’s member National Federations in their efforts to develop cycling in their respective regions. In total, 36 projects (concerning education, the provision of equipment or financing of projects) were carried out in 2020. Measures in the fight against the coronavirus, especially confinement, meant the UCI WCC had to rethink how it could implement the UCI’s solidarity programme. It was decided to cancel projects relating to athletes’ training camps and the organisation of competitions. As for projects linked to education, an on-line platform was developed to deliver all level 1 courses. The first part of 2021 will consist of finalising the projects that were postponed in 2020. The UCI will moreover provide support to the Continental Confederations who need it for the practical aspects of organising their 2021 Congresses, which are all particularly important in this electoral year and which will be to a large extent held virtually.
In 2020, restrictions imposed on populations to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic prompted many people to take to their bikes, be it for their leisure or for transport. This trend led to an impressive rise in the use of bikes throughout the world. As the world governing body for the development and promotion of cycling, the UCI is stepping up the efforts it has made over numerous years to build on this momentum. As part of ongoing work with the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, signed by the UCI in 2020, the Management Committee has approved the fundamental principles of the UCI’s sustainability strategy aiming to make cycling one of the most sustainable sports in the world. This strategy will be based on four pillars:
-UCI Commitment to Sustainability: The Management Committee has approved a Sustainability Policy for the future integration of environmental, social and economic governance into UCI operations and decision-making processes.
-UCI Climate Action: The Federation will promote greater environmental responsibility throughout the sport by expanding knowledge of sustainable practices globally and taking action to reduce its impacts.
-The Cycling of Tomorrow: The sustainability of cycling will require not only innovation and support for a low carbon future but also measures to increase diversity and inclusion in the sport.
– Advocacy – Cycling for All and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: Activities linked to Cycling for All will enable the UCI to reinforce the positive social impact of cycling and develop new partnerships in support of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The UCI will unveil the details of its sustainability strategy in June following further development and engagement with stakeholders. It will also produce, with the help of external support, sustainability guidelines for the global cycling community, science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a 10-year strategic implementation plan and new initiatives to support the UCI’s sustainability objectives.