Climate emergency The Grand Prix at the picota

After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, the return of the Formula 1 Grand Prix to Montreal not only makes people happy. Several environmental groups have called for an end to such events in the context of a climate emergency. Explanations.

Posted at 12:00 am

Eric-Pierre Champagne

Eric-Pierre Champagne
The press

A request to end the Grand Prix

Former Cowboys drummer Dominique Lebeau filed a petition on Monday to end the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal. With the support of various environmental groups, such as Mères au Front, the Montreal Climate Coalition, the Rivières Foundation, Environnement Jeunesse and the Quebec Association of Environmental Physicians, he called for the event to “no longer have place in Montreal, Quebec or Canada “. ”. “We just can’t believe that in 2022, in the midst of the climate crisis, there will still be events like the Canadian Grand Prix coming up,” we read in particular on, where 2,732 people signed up. the request at the end of the day Thursday.

“We are aware of this and will work on it”

Photo by Olivier Jean, THE PRESS

Francois Dumontier during the Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit

“I think that’s the end of it. The Grand Prix is ​​Canada’s biggest tourism event. 56% of our clientele comes from outside Quebec, so it’s really new money coming to Montreal.” said François Dumontier, head of the Grand Prix du Canada, in response on Thursday to groups who want the event to end. “In particular, after the pandemic, I think we will contribute to a part of the economic recovery of downtown Montreal. F1 and promoters around the world, we are aware that we have work do. And we started it, this job. We have had hybrid engines since 2014. There may have been a lack of communication about it, but we have set ourselves the goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. It doesn’t happen overnight. These are the stages we will go through. Sometimes they are small gestures, but we are aware of them and we will work on them. »

256,551 tons

According to figures published in 2019, the entire F1 circuit emits the equivalent of 256,551 tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHG) annually, the equivalent of about 105,000 cars or 450 Montreal-Paris flights. Most greenhouse gases are released not during the races, but during the movement of the teams and equipment in the different countries where the competitions are held. However, these figures do not take into account the carbon impact of tourism associated with different races. It would be estimated at 1.64 million tonnes of CO22 per year. F1 pledged to be carbon neutral in 2030 by 2019.

Fight against fossil fuels

Photo François Roy, PRESS ARCHIVES

The DD Claudel Petrin-Desrosiers

According to DD Claudel Pétrin-Desrosiers, president of the Quebec Association of Physicians for the Environment (AQME), “must be consistent in a context of climate crisis.” “It simply came to our notice then [sur la pertinence du Grand Prix] in the real context. An event that serves to burn gas throughout the weekend is an extravagance that no longer has its place, “he added. Request support The Grand Prix: No, thank you! it was obvious, also specifies the GP, as the AQME supports a campaign aimed at banning advertisements for fossil fuels. Beyond the F1 GHG report, “there is the symbol behind this, even if the emissions of a Grand Prix are minimal compared to those of the population’s car journeys.”

Carbon and professional sport

Formula 1 is far from the only professional sport that seeks to regain its image in terms of the environmental footprint. In a report released in 2019, the National Hockey League (NHL) indicated that the team’s trips during the season released 1,430 tons of GHG. The disruption of the regular season due to the pandemic in the spring of 2020 prevented 200 tonnes of GHG. The league reports that it has a program to offset its emissions. In addition, 2014 data showed that the NHL produced the equivalent of 550,000 tons of carbon from all of its activities in one season.

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  • 2031
    The city of Montreal has a contract until 2031 to celebrate the F1 Grand Prix.

    Source: City of Montreal

    The 22 races of a Formula 1 season are held in 20 countries.

    Source: International Automobile Federation

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