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America's growing preference for larger vehicles raises concerns

America's growing preference for larger vehicles raises concerns

An alarming rise in the size of American cars is causing environmental and safety issues, with SUVs and pickups now dominating the market.

David Zipper reports for Vox.

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suv on beach
Photo by Kyle Grozelle on Unsplash

New SUVs are ‘reversing climate progress’ by emitting more pollution than old cars

Charity calls for more taxes on SUVs, making them more expensive to operate which would provide an incentive for consumers to choose greener options.

suv emissions
Photo by Craig Marolf on Unsplash

New SUVs more polluting than old cars

The Independent: A new SUV purchased in 2023 will release more carbon dioxide per kilometer than a conventional engine car bought in 2013, a new study finds. Stuti Mishra reports.


In a nutshell:

The recent study by climate charity Possible reveals this disconcerting reality. The soaring popularity of Sports Utility Vehicles is undoing progress made in curbing carbon pollution from new cars. Notably, the study challenges the assumption that low-income individuals drive more polluting vehicles, revealing that the wealthiest households are 81 percent more likely to own super-emitting cars. The trend is global, as SUVs are accounting for nearly half of all cars sold worldwide, further exacerbating the climate crisis. Possible is calling for policy changes, including taxes based on vehicle emissions, carbon-based parking and road charges, and a halt to advertising the most polluting SUVs to curtail this environmental menace.

Key quote:

“Thanks to profit-hungry car companies, we are now driving in the wrong direction when it comes to carbon emissions from new fossil-fuelled cars,” Leo Murray, co-director of Possible, said.

The big picture:

The surge in emissions from SUVs not only imperils our climate but also presents a growing health concern. As these gas-guzzlers spew excessive carbon dioxide, they contribute to worsening air quality. The resulting air pollution, laden with harmful particulates, increases the risk of respiratory illnesses and cardiovascular problems, and poses a significant threat to public health.

Read Mishra's article at The Independent.

Should we just avoid driving altogether? To tackle climate change and save lives, the Biden administration needs to support bike- and pedestrian-friendly streets, argues Cynthia Palmer.

range rover suv uk pollution emissions
Pixabay

Owners of the most polluting cars to pay double for parking across England

Owners of the most polluting cars may soon have to pay more to park as councils across England are expected to roll out new charges based on a vehicle’s CO2 emissions.

Tyre Extinguishers suv climate activism

Tyre Extinguishers claim more than 600 SUVs ‘disarmed’ in one night

The climate activist group the Tyre Extinguishers claimed its largest night of action yet against SUVs last week, with more than 600 vehicles “disarmed” across nine countries.

suv pollution over-consumption ipcc climate

When it comes to cars, few are heeding the IPCC’s plea to curb consumption

Synonymous with the school run, and criticised for clogging urban streets, spewing pollution and contributing to a rise in deaths of pedestrians, many see SUVs as potent symbols of planet-destroying over-consumption.

climate protesters tires

Climate protesters deflate hundreds of 4x4 tyres throughout UK

A group of climate protestors who call themselves the ‘Tyre Extinguishers’ last night let the air out of the wheels of 4x4s across the UK.

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