The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship took to the stage at COP26 on Wednesday, as the all-electric racing series continued to lead the charge with CEO Jamie Reigle highlighting the 'power of motorsport' to action change.
Inspiration was the key takeaway from Formula E's time on the COP26 stage as all the panellists touched upon the series' transformative role in promoting electric mobility and the adoption of sustainable practices.
"Formula E was the only sport that was started with purpose at the core,' opened Jamie Reigle at the start of the session. "We were started specifically to address climate change and to use the power of sport and motorsport to inspire action and change."
Sat alongside the Formula E CEO in the first panel was the FIA Deputy President for Sport, Graham Stoker, who acknowledged the progression of the all-electric street racing series in just seven short years.
He further expressed how the Championship was "immediately able to tap into a new, younger audience" by racing directly in the world's most iconic cities, bringing them message of sustainability that is "at the heart" of Formula E.
Published on 10th November 2021
As the world’s first sport to achieve a net zero carbon footprint since inception, sustainability has always come first for Formula E and this was a point illustrated by Formula E's Sustainability Director, Julia Palle who joined Reigle and Stoker. She said: "What is important is to showcase that [Net Zero] is possible.
"We’re trying to make people understand that sustainability is so integral to inspire the rest of the sports industry but also to the people in their daily lives."
2015/16 champion Lucas di Grassi took a seat on the panel alongside Josef Holden Mahindra Racing's Performance Director, Julius Baer's Marco Parroni and Laura Citron from London & Partners.
Di Grassi, who joined the Monegasque team ahead of Season 8, said: "Motorsport serves two main purposes, and Formula E fits both of them perfectly. The first is entertainment and the second is a technology platform."
On an entertainment level, the Brazilian said that the sport has "has the power to inspire" and in the technology arena, it allows the manufacturers to push forward the development of electric mobility.
Former Formula E driver-turned ROKiT Venturi Racing Deputy Team Principal, Jerome D'Ambrosio joined the discussion alongside Team Manager, Delphine Biscaye.
The Belgian agreed with his former rival di Grassi that Formula E was on a front footing with the power to inspire change and champion diversity and gender equality..
The former Formula E race winner said the reason for the sport's emergence was that "the issue of climate change is something that needed to be addressed".
Theodor Swedjemark, Chief Communications & Sustainability Officer at ABB, closed out the session alongside di Grassi and Reigle.
He raised that Formula E had gone far to change the perception of EVs since the inception of the series back in 2014.
"The beauty of the Championship is bringing the race to the people, and showcasing to them the excitement and opportunities in and around electric mobility," said Swedjemark.
Earlier on Wednesday, Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle wrote a piece for the UK news outlet The Independent. In it he wrote how 'Formula E proves that motorsports can be part of the race against the climate crisis'.
In the days leading up to COP26, Formula E undertook an EV road trip up the country. Visiting the teams, partners and manufacturers, to take a closer look at how exactly the planet's favourite sport is accelerating positive change. Catch up on the full series below.