On June 14, 2021, Cycling4Climate organized a cycling tour of nearly 400 kilometers with a group of both well-known and less familiar cycling and sustainability enthusiasts. The route followed the coastline that would emerge in the Netherlands if the sea level were to rise too high—a coastline that should never become a reality.
We wholeheartedly agree with Cycling4Climate and can no longer delay drawing attention to the rise in sea levels. The consequences are immeasurable, affecting the entire Randstad and around 9 million Dutch people. In the last century, the sea level rose by 20 centimeters, and there is a threat of an additional 80 centimeters in this century. This is something we must prevent at all costs.
The ‘coastline’ as the route
The cyclists traced the coastline based on the Normal Amsterdam Level (NAP). This imaginary coastline roughly runs from Groningen to Goes. Without human interventions like building dikes and using pumps, this would be the coastline in the Netherlands.
Cycling4Climate uses the coastline as a metaphor because it illustrates that climate change can truly have an impact and could affect everyone in the Netherlands. As a country with a quarter of its surface below sea level (NAP), we are extremely vulnerable.
At the same time, they demonstrate with the cycling tour that with collaboration, speed, and perseverance, a lot can be achieved. These same aspects play a role in addressing climate change. Only together can we prevent the NAP coastline from becoming a reality.