Five years after the Paris Agreement was adopted during the COP 21, and as the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres just called on leaders worldwide to declare a State of Climate Emergency in their countries, the FIA and the world motor sport and mobility family are taking a new step forward in their commitment to the environment.
The Federation already introduced hybrid Power Unit in Formula 1 and created Formula E in 2014, set up a dedicated Environment and Sustainability Commission in 2017 chaired by former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, and joined the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework (UNFCC) in 2019.
Today, FIA has approved during its Annual General Assembly week an ambitious environmental strategy plan to become carbon neutral in 2021 on route to net zero by 2030. Based on a science-based target reduction plan aligned with the Paris Agreement 1,5°C objective, the commitment builds on the FIA’s increasing efforts to reduce the environmental impact of motor sport and mobility by setting clear goals to accelerate this progress.
The Federation will work with its Members Clubs and championships to support their efforts to become carbon neutral by developing and improving environmental sustainability across its two pillars. With 243 Members Clubs in 146 countries and 303 championships, the impact of this commitment will be felt globally and result in a significant reduction in carbon emissions and broader environmental impact, through three strategic areas:
- Climate Action: Accelerating net zero transformation,
- Technology & Innovation: Fostering sustainable and innovative solutions,
- Sustainable Practices: Driving sustainable change.
One of the most significant steps to achieving this goal has been the research, development and production by the FIA’s Technical Department of a 100 % sustainable fuel, developed to stringent F1 specifications, able to power Formula One cars. As a second-generation biofuel variety, meaning it is exclusively refined using bio-waste, not intended for human or animal consumption, the first barrels are now with F1’s Power Unit manufacturers for testing and validation. The objective is to demonstrate the technology works and to lead F1 suppliers to develop their own fuels, with the mandatory requirement of 100% sustainable fuels in F1 targeted by the introduction of the new powertrain architecture. From 2021, other FIA championships, such as the European Truck Racing Championship, will also be able to use sustainable fuel.
Jean Todt, FIA President, said: “FIA takes its responsibility in leading motor sport and mobility into a low carbon future to reduce the environmental impacts of our activities and contribute to a greener planet. I’m glad that our Members Clubs approve our environmental strategy that is part of the Purpose Driven initiative focused on the societal contribution of our two pillars. By developing sustainable fuel made from bio waste that can power Formula 1, we are taking a new step forward. With the support of the world’s leading energy companies, we can combine the best technological and environmental performance.”
Ross Brawn, Managing Director Motor Sports, Formula 1, said: “Formula 1 has long served as platform for introducing next generation advancements in the automotive world. We are delighted by the momentum on sustainable fuels which perfectly aligns with our plan to be net zero carbon as a sport by 2030. Our top sustainability priority now is building a roadmap for the hybrid engine that reduces emissions and has a real world benefit for road cars. We believe we have the opportunity to do that with a next generation engine that combines hybrid technology with sustainable fuels.”
Felipe Calderón, Chairman of the FIA Environment and Sustainability Commission, said: “The Environmental Strategy approved during the Annual General Assembly week is key in consolidating FIA’s commitment to a low-carbon future. It will not only engage in a wide organisational effort to measure, reduce, offset and remove the emissions that result from its own activities -becoming carbon neutral from 2021 and net zero by 2030-, FIA will also take a leadership role, among other sports federations, in pushing for global climate action. This new strategy provides a whole framework to support its members in becoming more sustainable and build climate leadership themselves.”
Marie Sallois-Dembreville, IOC Director Corporate and Sustainable Development, said: “I am delighted to have been part of the FIA’s Annual General Assembly week and the IOC warmly congratulates the FIA for joining the leading Sport Federations in acting to fight climate change. I believe that the FIA’s bold commitments to carbon neutrality and net zero are especially significant given the nature of their championships and really demonstrate the willingness for significant positive change in the coming decade.”