14 Jan 21

Envision Virgin Racing partners with UK Government ahead of COP26 Summit

Envision Virgin Racing will partner with the UK Government's 'Together for Our Planet' campaign to encourage global action against climate change ahead of the COP26 Climate Change Conference set for Glasgow in November this year. 

Envision Virgin Racing - the first Formula E outfit to be certified carbon neutral, the first motorsport team to sign up to the United Nations Support for Climate Action Framework and an FIA Three-Star accredited operation - is focussing on driving the adoption of zero emission vehicles for all road users ahead of this year's COP26 summit.

Both Robin Frijns and Nick Cassidy's cars will carry the ‘Together for Our Planet’ and UK Government branding this season - Formula E's first as an FIA World Championship, set to get under way next month in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia with a double-header of all-electric night races on 26 & 27 February.

The Silverstone-based outfit, owned by global green tech company Envision Group, will be working with the government in the run up to the COP26, November 1-12. One of the key themes of the summit is acclerating the transition to electric vehicles and the UK’s own pledge to decarbonise transport and reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 - the latter a feat which Formula E achieved last year, becoming the first global sports series to do so.

Central to this is the UK's plan to phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans, with the date brought forward from 2040 to 2030. This will ultimately see all new cars and vans sold in the country being fully zero emission at the tailpipe from 2030.

READ MORE: Why Formula E doesn't just 'stick to racing'

To aid this transition and help inspire positive climate action around the world, Envision Virgin Racing will be partnering with COP26’s Together for Our Planet campaign on several key initiatives across the year under the team’s ‘Race Against Climate Change’ sustainability programme.

These include a series of digital events in the run up to COP26, a children’s competition to design an environmentally inspired race suit to be worn by the team’s drivers, plus activities at the Formula E race locations around the world.

Together for Our Planet

Alok Sharma, COP26 President Designate, said: “I am delighted Envision Virgin Racing are taking the Together for Our Planet campaign 'on tour’ and inspiring people around the world to take urgent climate action ahead of COP26.

“We know that electric vehicles are greener, cleaner, and better for the planet. To meet the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement, we need to clean up the air we breathe by doubling the pace of transition to zero emission vehicles.”

READ MORE: How Formula E went net zero

Envision Virgin Racing’s Managing Director Sylvain Filippi said: “Envision Virgin Racing, Formula E and the UK Government are all at the forefront of the EV revolution, especially with so many personnel, vehicles and infrastructure based and built right here in the UK.

"As such, we are honoured to be joining forces with what is the most important climate event of the year and playing a pivotal role in encouraging motorists to make the switch and, more importantly, tackle climate change before it is too late.

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“Through the exciting platform of motorsport, we’re able to showcase the true potential of electric vehicles as we compete in cities across the globe, developing innovative technology that will filter from the track to the road and accelerating the adoption of EVs.

"Envision Virgin Racing, Formula E and the UK Government are all at the forefront of the EV revolution.

"We are honoured to be joining forces with what is the most important climate event of the year and playing a pivotal role in encouraging motorists to make the switch and, more importantly, tackle climate change before it is too late."
Sylvain Filippi, Envision Virgin Racing Managing Director

“Now, after just a few seasons of competition, we are seeing the impact of this with global EV sales rising from 330,000 from when the championship first began to 2.17 million in 2019. Even during the bleakest of economic times, sales rose 185 per cent last year in the UK alone and EVs have outsold petrol and diesel cars in Norway, for example, showing that EVs are about to become mainstream and play a key role in reducing carbon emissions.”

As the owner of the team, Envision Group's work in areas such as smart wind technology and battery development has seen it earn an array of sustainability credentials, including being the first company in mainland China to commit to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025.

Franz Jung, Vice President of Envision Group and Chairman of the Board at Envision Virgin Racing, added: “As with Envision Group, the team has sustainability running through its DNA, so we are fully supportive of this initiative. As well as being certified carbon neutral, we were also the first motorsport team to sign the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change and are one of just a handful of teams to have achieved the FIA’s Three-Star Environmental Accreditation.”

Formula E will communicate on its plans for COP26 in the near future.

Formula E

Formula E’s commitment to deliver better futures through racing drives its ongoing environmental, economic and social sustainability initiatives around the world