World Environment Day (5 June) is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. It is organised annually around a theme that draws attention to a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2019 is AIR POLLUTION.
Each year, approximately 7 million people die worldwide from air pollution related illnesses. World Environment Day 2019 urges governments, industry, communities, and individuals to explore renewable energy and green technologies, and improve global air quality in cities and regions.
Motorsport, like most other sports, also contributes to air pollution. Transport Requirements for events produce high levels of carbon emissions, and consume large amounts of energy. The good news though is that, through careful planning and following a few simple and practical steps, we can reduce harmful emissions. Motorsport South Africa’s Environmental Code, for a start, gives guidance to event owners and organisers to reduce traffic volumes to venues.
For off road events and multiple stage rallies, it is recommended to select a number of routes to and from the venue, in consultation with the regional Police Department, Provincial and Local Traffic Police. By minimal disruption of the daily traffic patterns of the surrounding area, it will also ensure that levels of vehicle emissions are kept to a minimum. Event organisers should, as far as possible, try to minimise the need for travel when selecting off-road/rally stages.
It is also advisable to advertise or publish accurate and concise directions and the best available access routes to all circuits and venues, prior to an event.
When allocating parking for large events, ensure that the parking areas are managed to ensure easy access. Traffic congestion should be avoided as far as possible and several entrances/exits are therefore advisable.
Take also into consideration the availability, quality and reach of public transportation systems. If public transport is not available, organise a shuttle service or car-pooling scheme for travel between strategic points.
We all can also take advice by implementing the following Eco-driving proposals to reduce our daily impact on ambient air pollution levels:
Observe the speed limit, as this influences fuel economy. Use cruise control wherever you can. Avoid aggressive driving, such as hard acceleration and braking. Remove excess weight from vehicles, such as extra items in the boot. Drive smartly – plan and combine errands to make as few trips as possible. Avoid the use of the air conditioner, if possible. Avoid excess idling of the vehicle. Regular vehicle tune-ups and maintenance checks should be done. Keep tyres properly inflated and aligned. Use the recommended motor oil. Replace clogged air filters. Consider the use of alternative vehicle technologies or fuel sources.
Both the FIA and FIM also support appropriate action to curb air pollution levels. The following links provide further detail: