Extreme E ‘Count Us In’ climate-action challenge

The new Extreme E electric off-road racing series, in partnership with Count Us In, has launched the “Extreme E Count Us In Challenge” which, the organizers explained, “will use the power of sport and the excitement of motor racing to inspire fans to take practical steps on climate change.”

The new Challenge will call on Extreme E fans to take steps aimed at reducing their carbon footprint and, in so doing, urge governments, cities and businesses to accelerate progress on climate action.

“More people watch sport than science documentaries,” explained Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E. “And with 24 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions coming from transport, Extreme E believes it can use its powerful media platform to shine a spotlight on the issues we face, and the need to act now to help protect our futures.

“We are proud to be joining forces with Count Us In,” Agag continued, “as, in addition to raising awareness of the climate crisis, we can now drive our fans, teams, drivers and staff to take impactful action – all, of course, within a competitive campaign which matches our sporting ethos, and proves that all our actions no matter the scale, have a huge impact when combined.”

The campaign will supports the UN’s Race to Zero initiative which, in the lead-up to COP26 this November in Glasgow, aims to bring together non-governmental stakeholders to advocate for accelerating the transition to a zero carbon world.

The list of Extreme E teams currently includes Lewis Hamilton’s X44, Jenson Button’s JBXE, and Veloce Racing from the UK; Nico Rosberg’s Rosberg X Racing (RXR) and ABT CUPRA XE from Germany; ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team, Hispano Suiza Xite Energy Team from Spain; and Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti United from the USA. As part of the Challenge, all will encourage fans to take one or more of a variety of steps as they compete overall for the most action and overall carbon footprint savings.

Steps range in impact from pledging to walk and cycle more to eating more plant-based food to Extreme E’s ultimate goal of switching to an electric vehicle. All steps taken will be added up on each Extreme E team page and will be tracked on the Extreme E Count Us In Challenge leaderboard . The winning team will claim the overall Extreme E Sustainability Award at the end of the Season.

Nico Rosberg, Team RXR said: “Sport is an amazing platform to not only drive awareness, but also inspire action in the fight against climate change – the single biggest threat to our planet today. Me and my team Rosberg X Racing are proud to be a part of the  Extreme E Count Us In Challenge. I hope every fan can take a simple practical step to protect what they love from climate change”

Extreme E will race across the world’s most remote environments to demonstrate the performance and benefits of electric vehicles and clean technology, while highlighting the impact that climate change is already having on these ecosystems – melting ice caps, deforestation, desertification, retreating mountain glaciers, plastic pollution and rising sea levels.

Christiana Figueres, co-founder of Global Optimism, and the former UN Climate Chief who oversaw the Paris Agreement’s adoption, is backing Count Us In, convening a group of influential figures across sport, entertainment, civil society and science to highlight the importance of individual action. “The transportation revolution is at a tipping point,” she said, “with technology in place to end the need for polluting vehicles. I applaud Extreme E, the drivers and motorsport heroes who are using their influence to ensure a groundswell of support for policies and practices that bring forward the low carbon future.”

Nigel Topping, UK High Level Champion for Climate Action COP26, who is leading the Race to Zero, said: “I’m delighted to see the launch of the Extreme E Count Us In Challenge. To curb emissions as quickly as possible, we need a combination of action from businesses and governments and the support of society-at-large to help create a net zero world. Citizens all over the world taking impactful steps are a fundamental part of demonstrating to companies and governments that our whole society is in the Race to Zero emissions.”

Extreme E’s inaugural race is set to take place in AlUla, Saudi Arabia on April 3-4 before heading to Lac Rose, Senegal (May 29-30 May); Kangerlussuaq, Greenland (Aug. 28-29); Para, Brazil (Oct. 23-24); and Argentine Patagonia (Dec. 11-12).