It sounds so promising. A network of dedicated cycle routes running through a city with air pumps to fix flat tires, footrests to lean on while taking breaks and trash cans that are specially angled so you can throw in empty water bottles without stopping.
Best of all, you can cycle on those routes for long distances without having to make way for cars and trucks at junctions and traffic lights, according to the official description of the Cycle Super Highways, which are under construction here as part of the Danish capital’s efforts to become carbon-neutral by 2025.
Are they as good as they sound? These days it is hard to find a big city that doesn’t make grandiose claims to encourage cycling, and harder still to find one that fulfills them. Redesigning congested traffic systems to add bike lanes to overcrowded roads is fiendishly difficult, especially in historic cities with narrow cobbled streets like Copenhagen. But as its cycling program sounds so ambitious, I went there to try it.
Maybe I’d be less cynical if I lived in Amsterdam, Cologne or any other city with decent cycling facilities, but as a Londoner, I’ve learned the hard way to be suspicious whenever politicians promise to do anything bike-friendly. London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, is a keen cyclist, who issues policy papers with auspicious titles like “Cycling Revolution” and has continued his predecessor’s biking program by introducing a cycle-rental project and building new bike lanes.
So far so good, you may think, unless you have braved the potholes, parked trucks and construction debris that obstruct those lanes, many of which appear to have been designed by someone who has never seen a bicycle, let alone ridden one. London cyclists swap horror stories of dysfunctional cycle routes that end without warning or maroon them on the wrong side of the road, though few can be more perilous than a new lane on Bethnal Green Road, which is blocked by a streetlight — anyone rash enough to use the lane has to brake sharply to avoid crashing into it.
Energy security has a close bearing on the stability and growth of the world economy and the well-being of people in all countries. Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis， ensuring energy security is vital to effectively tackling the impact of the crisis and promoting the full recovery and long-term development of the world economy.
To this end, the international community should foster a new energy security outlook featuring mutually beneficial cooperation， diversified development and coordinated supply. Joint efforts must be made to stabilize the prices of energy and other commodities and prevent excessive speculation and market hype， so as to meet the energy demands of all countries， particularly the developing countries， and maintain order in the energy market. Meanwhile， countries should improve their own energy mix， promote the research， development and diffusion of advanced technologies， vigorously develop clean and renewable energies， and actively advance international cooperation in relevant fields.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to issues of energy and energy security. In addressing these issues, we adhere to the principle of “giving priority to conservation, mainly relying on domestic supply, seeking diversified development and protecting the environment”. We have strengthened mutually beneficial cooperation with the international community, made vigorous efforts to improve and adjust the energy mix and build a reliable, economical, clean and safe energy supply system, China is ready to work with other countries to establish a long-term energy cooperation mechanism and make its due contribution to ensuring global energy security and tackling climate change.