FIA Action for Environment – Accelerating change with Formula E

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As Formula E wraps up in Berlin, we look at how the research and knowledge gained from racing electric cars can provide a solution to air pollution issues in urban areas.

World Environment Day is a United Nations global movement to encourage worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. It is celebrated on the 5th of June every year and was first held in 1974. Since then it developed into a global platform for raising awareness on environmental issues from marine pollution, human overpopulation and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. Each World Environment Day is organised around a theme that draws attention to a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2019 is “Air Pollution”.

According to the World Health Organisation, nine out of ten people on earth breathe polluted air and an estimated 4.2 million premature deaths annually are linked to outdoor air pollution. In urban areas, where motor vehicles account for a significant proportion of energy-related pollutants, air pollution is today the highest environmental risk to health. Reducing vehicle emissions is therefore an important intervention to improve air quality in those areas.

As the first fully electric motor racing championship in the world, Formula E is here to showcase the relevance of electric energy as an alternative source of power for road cars. By bringing motor sport to high profile city centre locations, Formula E not only develops and promotes the use of electric vehicles, but also raises awareness of the infrastructure required in metropolitan areas. The research and knowledge gained from racing electric cars – the Formula E Gen2 car now has almost double the energy storage capacity compared to the first generation car – will inevitably help developing more sustainable road cars and thus provide a solution to air pollution issues in urban areas. 

While for most people the ‘E’ in Formula E stands for ‘electric’, it is just as applicable to ‘environment’, as it is the first category in motorsport to earn the highly acclaimed ISO 20121 certification, the highest award in sustainable events. In addition, FEH, the Formula E Promoter, also holds a Three-Star Certification against the FIA Environmental Accreditation Programme. This certification recognises the highest level of commitment to the environmental and sustainability goals set out by the FIA.

The next logical step, and a clear FIA objective, is the environmental accreditation of all Formula E teams. MAHINDRA RACING leads by example and is already certified with an FIA Two-Star Accreditation. DS TECHEETAH, who currently tops the team championship standings, has recently confirmed that it is aiming at achieving FIA Environmental Accreditation by minimising its environmental impact and achieving carbon neutrality of its operations. Beside Formula E, the FIA is also actively pursuing the implementation of environmental accreditation in several other Championships to reduce the environmental footprint of motor sport globally.

Take action and join the FIA and Formula E in the global fight against air pollution. Above all, World Environment Day is a “people’s day” for doing something to take care of the Earth. This can be a local, national or global action supported by only one person or a bigger crowd. Join the movement and share your World Environment Day commitment on social media using the following hashtags: #WorldEnvironmentDay #FIAActionForEnvironment #BeatAirPollution #ABBFormulaE