It’s a wrap! COP28 in Dubai has concluded with an agreement for the world to transition away from fossil fuels.
Although we are among many concerned about the loopholes in the climate conference’s final text, the Envision Racing team remains hopeful that this represents a transformative moment in human history – heralding a new age of renewable energy.
For our team in Dubai, it’s been an incredibly busy and productive 12 days. For a start, we were the only sports team in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Blue Zone, the formal conference space where heads of state negotiate.
To this powerful select audience, we showcased our pioneering Recover E car. The world’s first full-sized, driveable Formula E car, it is made entirely of electronic waste – including disposable vapes, mobile phones, laptops, MP3 players, plugs and batteries.
It exists to sound the alarm about the rising environmental challenge of e-waste, which is on track to reach 75 million tonnes globally by 2030.
On COP28’s Transport Day, 6th of December, we hosted the UK Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper at our exhibit – which also contained a Formula E racing simulator.
We wanted to demonstrate to him – and all other influential politicians – the power of electric racing and the ability of sport to inspire mass behaviour change.
Another highlight of our COP28 experience was the launch of our trailblazing partnership with Professor Ed Hawkins, the University of Reading climate scientist who came up with the idea of visually representing rising global temperatures through a series of stripes turning from blue to red. From next season, we will display these iconic ‘warming stripes’ on our racing cars.
We took part in numerous panel discussions to underline sport’s unique power to galvanise public action on mitigating the worst of the climate crisis. In the Blue Zone, this included our racing driver Alice Powell talking at the UN’s Sports for Climate Action event.
She also took part in a discussion on the ability of Formula E to innovate electric mobility technology in the Green Zone – where youth representatives, artists, businesses, regional and local decision-makers and other civil society actors share climate solutions. She explained how the battery technology being developed for electric motorsport has the potential to accelerate the transition to all forms of e-mobility.
Most of all, we’re most proud that we did not shy away from standing up for our purpose and beliefs as a sports organisation. As world leaders hotly debated the final wording of the final conference text, we were one of only two sporting entities to sign the Global Optimism letter – calling for it to explicitly commit to a phaseout of fossil fuels in line with the science and a 1.5°C trajectory.
While the outcome might not have exactly lived up to our hopes – we will now only double down on our efforts to accelerate the mass adoption of renewable energy and e-mobility.
We can and must do this, because one thing is certain.
The future is electric.