NASCAR and Formula One Racing Take on Pollution

I was pleasantly shocked to discover that both NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (the folks who bring us Formula One racing) are both working hard to reduce pollution and even raise awareness about climate change. Solar powered race tracks, tree planting, electric racing cars. Who knew?

In my Climate Stew radio program I have a segment from the future, the year 2165. Usually I make up most of it, imagining what the future might say about us and the many ways we addressed our climate crisis. But in this segment EVERYTHING has already happened. It’s a short piece, so have a listen. (Transcript below)


Here are some links you might find useful


I am Timothy Meadows. It is Saturday, September 7, 2165 and time for That Day in Climate History. In the early 21st Century, one of the most popular sports was car racing. (race car sounds)

America’s National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing or NASCAR and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile with its Formula One Series captivated the public with fast cars, flashy drivers, and great a deal of petroleum products.

Formula E Electric Race Car

Formula E Electric Race Car

Aware of the negative impact their sport had on the planet, both NASCAR and Forumla 1 made the necessary changes to clean up the sport. They also strove to raise awareness among their many fans about the need to take responsibility for pollution.

Starting in 2008 NASCAR Green inaugurated eco-friendly programs. They turned to solar energy in some of their biggest tracks including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They also launched the largest Waste Diversion program of any professional sport. Instead of dumping tires in landfills, they recycled over 120,000 them every year. In addition, they also recycled and re-refined motor oil. In order to offset their massive carbon footprint, NASCAR Green began a tree planting campaign. For each car in the NASCAR series, they planted a tree. NASCAR Green also launched a digital tree planting efforts giving fans the opportunity to donate a tree in an area of need across the USA. According to NASCAR’s records, in just 2014 300,000 trees were planted. In order to transition the sport to cleaner energy while maintaining the thrilling speed fans expected, NASCAR partnered with innovators to introduce new technology including biofuels, fuel cells, and electric cars.


In 2014 Forumla One held the first ever fully-electric international car racing series. Significantly quieter than other race cars, these first generation electric automobiles accelerated from 0-100 km/h in 3 seconds and reached a maximum speed of 225 km/h. The creation of the Formula E series helped drive innovation. It also proved to fans that fast cars did not need to pollute.

On this day in 2165, we remember That Day in Climate History