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F1 already 'carbon neutral' since 1997

Honda Racing may be the first team to publicly commit themselves to doing something about global warming, but autosport.com has learned that the FIA has been working behind the scenes for a decade on dealing with carbon emissions from the sport

In fact, the FIA's efforts have ensured that Grand Prix racing has been carbon neutral since 1997 - long before many woke up to the problems facing the world.

The sport's governing body has been financially supporting the Scolel Te project in southern Mexico to offset the emissions caused by both the Formula One World Championship and the World Rally Championship.

The FIA offsets the greenhouse gas emissions of the two world championships through buying credits in the project's trust fund, the Fonfo BioClimatico.

The fund operates a number of different schemes, including the establishment of tree plantations, growing timber and fruit trees, and protecting threatened forests.

The FIA has purchased credits to offset carbon emissions in F1 since 1997 and the WRC since 2001. This has been undertaken independently without contributions from the teams involved.

It is understood that the offsets include not only the emissions of the competing cars but also, and more importantly, the worldwide travel of personnel involved in both championships.

The amount of carbon produced each year obviously varies depending on the make-up of the calendar, and a new analysis will be undertaken imminently to bring the carbon figures up to date.

Jenson Button welcomed the involvement of the FIA in making F1 carbon neutral but believed it should just be the start.

"At the moment, F1 is carbon neutral, but that's not where we want to be - it should be carbon positive," the driver told Sky News. But maybe in the future it will get there."

For a full analysis of F1's impact on the environment and why Honda Racing have chosen to go green, see this week's Journal, which will be published on Thursday morning.

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