UN Environment and Formula-E launch partnership to champion air quality

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UN Environment (UNEP) and electric racing series Formula E have partnered with one another to raise awareness of electric vehicles and their benefits.

In an announcement on Tuesday, UNEP said that the multi-year partnership would also look to educate future consumers of electric cars and challenge cities and governments to fight pollution.

UNEP said that it was hoped the popularity of the FIA's Formula E Championship – which sees fully electric vehicles race one another on courses across the globe – could be leveraged to boost awareness.

"Formula E puts a fresh spotlight on electric vehicles and is an exciting glimpse of what is to come - the age of clean, viable transport," Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, said in a statement.

"Formula E and UN Environment share the aim to usher in this era and speed up acceptance of these technologies to combat air pollution," he added. "Air pollution has taken centre-stage this year as a serious public health threat, and with good reason."

When it comes to tackling air pollution, the mood does seem to be shifting. At the end of last year, for example, the mayors of four major cities – Mexico City, Madrid, Paris and Athens – pledged to ban diesel vehicles from their streets by 2025.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution represents a "major environmental risk to health." It adds that in 2014, 92 percent of the planet's population was living in areas where WHO air quality guidelines had not been met.