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UN Names Mobike 2017 Champions of the Earth

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NAIROBI, Kenya – China’s bike sharing operator Mobike has been honored the United Nations’ highest environmental award on 5 December, for building a pedal-powered green economy. It is remarkable as this company is part of a business model responsible for putting millions of bikes in China’s cities obstructing and ‘polluting’ public paces.

UN Names Mobike 2017 Champions of the Earth
Proud of the award: Mobike founder and president Hu Weiwei (mid) between Deputy Executive Director UN Environment Ibrahim Thiaw (left) and Executive Director UN Environment, Under-Secretary General UN Erik Solheim (right). – Photo Mobike

Photos of huge stacks, the size of football fields, of dockless sharing bikes in Chinese cities which were taken from the streets were a big hit on internet in the past months. The Bike Europe Report, ‘Is this what Europe wants?’

on how the future of the current boom of urban cycling looks, sparked a lot of response. It is obvious that Mobike’s business model reflex the ultimate consumerism while harming the image of cycling.

The United Nations’ decision to name Mobike as the ‘2017 Champions of the Earth’ immediately sparked response from the German dealer cooperative ZEG who announced to pull out of the UN Global Compact Initiative.

Third annual UN environment assembly

Mobike regards itself as “the world’s first and largest smart dockless bikeshare company.” The Chinese company is among the 2017 Champions of the Earth by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). “Mobike was awarded in recognition of our transformative contribution to the advancement of low carbon public transport,” said Senior Manager of International Communications Luke Schoen. The award was presented to Mobike Founder and President Hu Weiwei at a special ceremony during the Third Annual UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya on 5 December.

According to Mobike, the company received the award in the ‘Entrepreneurial Vision’ category, “in recognition of its achievements in applying its innovative business model to improve urban eco-mobility while addressing the challenge of urban air pollution and reducing carbon emissions”.

‘Global readiness to embrace the green economy’

According to UNEP “the speed at which Mobike has grown into a world-leading enterprise is evidence of not only of its ambitious stewardship and dedication of its hard-working staff, but also of a global readiness to embrace the green economy”.

“When we first started Mobike, our goal was to change cities by making bikes available to everyone. The humble bicycle can not only change people and cities, but can also help change the world, both as a universal symbol of peace, and as a weapon in the fight against climate change,” said Hu Weiwei when receiving the award.

Pollution-free planet

While attending the Third Annual UN Environment Assembly, Weiwei also took part in a series of dialogues with UN, business and NGO leaders on practical solutions towards a pollution-free planet.

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