Formula 1 race cars will run on sustainable fuel in an effort to all but eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

F1 produces the equivalent of 256,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide on and off the track over a season.

But under new plans, emissions will be reduced to zero where possible – and offset with schemes such as tree planting and carbon capture where not.

Speaking exclusively to Sky News, F1 boss Chase Carey said biofuel would increasingly be used in race cars but he insisted the traditional internal combustion engine was here to stay.

He said: The majority of cars out there – I think one billion – are combustion engine cars.

We can be a platform that shows what is possible in reducing emissions and creating efficiency through those combustion engines.

It’s an important part of the solution.

Teams will have to use second generation biofuels that are derived from used cooking oil or crops that aren’t grown for food.

But environmental campaigners warn there would still be competition for land space between fuel crops and the new forests that are needed to absorb carbon dioxide.

Anna Jones of Greenpeace added that biofuels supported redundant technology.

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She told Sky News: It’s a real shame that they are not putting the best brains that they have into the genuinely new technologies that we need in terms of electric vehicles.

For me that’s a missed opportunity.

I’m sure there are a lot of people within F1 who would like to be going down that pathway.

Lewis Hamilton recently urged fans to go vegan to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and F1 says drivers and teams are supportive of the new zero-carbon target.

The net-zero target will apply across the business.

Emissions from cars make up a tiny proportion of the sport’s overall carbon footprint.

Just 0.7% comes from fuel used to test and race the cars.

The bulk – 45% – is from logistics, moving the cars and equipment from race to race.

Travel of drivers and teams make up 27.7%, team offices and factories 19.3% and event operations 7.3%.

Mr Carey said: We have a sport with half a billion fans around the world, a viewership that’s growing, attendance that is growing.

We have an opportunity. We can display what’s possible and be a force for good.

F1 still dominates motorsport. But it has a green challenger, the all-electric Formula E championship, with cars so clean that races are held in city centres.

Mercedes, which has dominated F1 in recent years, will also race in Formula E for the first time this season, lining up alongside Porsche, BMW and Audi.

(c) Sky News 2019: Formula 1 cars on biofuels could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030