Redline: F1 joins United Nation’s Sports Climate Action

Formula 1 has redoubled its efforts in pressing for sustainability in league with the FIA’s Jean Todt. F1 has signed on to a program called United Nations’ Sport for Climate Action Framework.

Press Release:

Formula 1 and the FIA have today announced they have become signatories of the United Nations’ Sport for Climate Action Framework. This follows the announcement in November 2019 that Formula 1 will be net zero carbon as a sport by 2030.

To be considered as a signatory an organisation must adhere to the following five principles:

  1. Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility;
  2. Reduce overall climate impact;
  3. Educate for climate action;
  4. Promote sustainable and responsible consumption;
  5. Advocate for climate action through communication
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#1, 3, 4 and 5 all focus on promotion for awareness, educating, promoting consumption and advocating for action. Effectively saying/communicating action for awareness of limited consumption and the responsibility of this cause inside motorsport. Apart from marketing, there is only one reals ask of F1 and that’s to make some efforts (no metrics given apart from what they’ve said they are committed to) in reducing climate impact…which seems to be a very broad principle.

The plans set out by Formula 1 to be net zero carbon by 2030 meet all these requirements. By signing up to the framework, we express our intent to implement the principles enshrined in the Sports for Climate Action Framework and commit to working collaboratively with our peers and relevant stakeholders to develop, implement and enhance the climate action agenda in sports.

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There is something challenging in the concept of being carbon neutral without the concept of Carbon Offsets which, in the end, is a tax for existing as a sport. The series will find it difficult to remove the need to freight their series around the world and will continue to do so while perpetuating its carbon footprint. The only real solution is to use row boats or pay a carbon tax to be used, somehow, to kick the responsibility to another corner of the world.
Chase Carey, Chairman, and CEO of Formula 1, said:
“Last year Formula 1 launched its first-ever sustainability strategy recognising the important role that we must play in tackling climate change. The actions we will take in the years ahead will reduce our carbon footprint and ensure we are net zero carbon by 2030. We are delighted to join the UN’s efforts in this space and will be working closely with the FIA, teams and partners to ensure we deliver on our plans and implement meaningful change.”
Jean Todt, President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) said:
“As an international Federation comprising 244 members in 140 countries and the leader in motor sport and mobility development, we are fully committed to global environmental protection. The signing of this UN Sports for Climate Action Framework reinforces the momentum that has been growing in our Federation for many years. From the introduction of the hybrid power unit in F1 to the creation of the Environment and Sustainability Commission, the entire FIA community has been investing time, energy and financial resources to the benefit of environmental innovations. We aim to inspire greater awareness and best practice in sustainability motor sport standards.”
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Paying a carbon tax for their presence is a tough pill to swallow given that Jean Todt is right, the series has created the most efficient motor in the world in the current hybrid power unit and one might suggest that this was payback enough for their own carbon footprint. These efficient engines and the tech used is being deployed in road cars which are a much larger footprint. One might ask, hasn’t F1 done a really good job already? Isn’t Formula E really the series that Jean and the FIA should be leading with?
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Kinda hard to reduce your carbon footprint when all you have is an internal combustion engine. Let Formula E do the work here.