Climate Change, Sport

Formula E: Racing to Save the Environment?

Nine teams, one female and one male driver on each, all-electric SUVs – Extreme E is changing the face of not only motorsport but sport in general.

Started in 2019 by Formula E founder Alejandro Agag, Extreme E follows the same skeleton of the usual motorsports, where each race occurs in a different location. However, with Extreme E the locations of each race are selected on their high vulnerability to Climate Change, with previous race locations having included Greenland and Senegal.

Extreme E is a part of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, an initiative born out of the 2015 Paris Agreement which is “aimed at supporting and guiding sports actors in achieving global climate change goals.” Extreme E has also committed to becoming carbon neutral by the finish of its first season.

Logistically, Extreme E also differs. Usually in motorsport the cars are shipped by plane, but Extreme E opts to use their own ship – the “St Helena” to cut emissions. The “St Helena” is a refurbished Royal Mail Cargo ship which brings another element of sustainability to the table.

The well-known “Constructors Championship has also received a green makeover with teams emissions monitored throughout and financial incentives available to promote maintenance of low emissions. Additionally, Extreme E also has its own independent scientific committee, made up of Oxbridge professors, who aid the team and the organising committee.  

For each race location as well, Extreme E works with a local NGO to form a “legacy project.” Featured charities include the Ba’a Foundation, Oceanium and The Nature Conservatory. Mr Agag said: “At Extreme E, our priority is to give back environmentally to all the regions that we visit in our series and leave them in a better condition than when we arrived.”

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About Author

Freyja Elwood

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September 2021
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