Expert slams climate ’greenwashing’ in F1

"It only does so superficially"



23 August 2023 - 16:45
Expert slams climate 'greenwashing

An urban mobility expert has questioned just how serious Formula 1 is about climate change.

The sport says it wants to be carbon-neutral by 2030, and will start using totally synthetic fuel from 2026.

"Formula 1 sees that it has to act on climate protection, but it only does so superficially," Benjamin Stephan, a political scientist who works for Greenpeace, told DPA.

"If Formula 1 doesn’t just want to use sustainability as a fig leaf, it has to rethink the carbon footprint of the entire racing circuit. It should be more regionalised instead of holding 24 races and flying masses of people and material around the world, as in the coming year," he added.

F1 has used hybrid engines since 2014, and the electrical components will be ramped up to equal-billing with the internal combustion engine from 2026.

But Stephan believes "Formula 1 technologies don’t get us any further in the mobility revolution, and that sends the wrong message".

"So far, the Formula 1 projects have only been of a cosmetic nature for me and are not much more than greenwashing," he added.

"Combustion engines, even if they become a bit more efficient in Formula 1, are out of date. Synthetic and biofuels are not a solution because they are inefficient and too expensive," the Greenpeace activist said.

"In the current transformation, Formula 1 is decoupling itself from the rest of the world."

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