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End of the Road for SUVs

Transport is the largest driver of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK and SUVs are one of the biggest culprits. SUVs account for approximately 23 percent of all car sales in the UK and 58 percent in the USA.

Ministers must ban the sale of the most polluting vehicles such as SUVs immediately and bring in a charge on drivers for each mile they travel if Britain is to meet its climate goals, experts have warned. If that's true for the UK, it must also be true for America too.

Transport is the UK’s most polluting sector, accounting for around a third of the country’s CO2 emissions before the start of the pandemic.

Ministers hope to slash these emissions by encouraging a switch to electric vehicles, with a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 part of Boris Johnson’s 10-point climate plan.

But experts have warned that it is “delusional” to believe that emissions can be tackled through a switch to electric cars alone - and pointed to more drastic action and “hard choices” to end transport’s contribution to the climate crisis by 2050.

“We need to ban the most polluting cars now - so that, between now and 2030, the top 10 per cent of the most polluting vehicles are not allowed to be sold in this country,” Professor Jillian Anable, chair in transport and energy at the University of Leeds, said. SUVs account for approximately 23 percent of all car sales in the UK and 58 percent in the USA.

“Fossil fuel SUVs are [still] outselling electric vehicles 10-to-one in the current market and [without action] they’ll be sold right up until the end of this decade and will therefore be on the roads well into the 2040s,” Prof Anable told a press briefing organised by the non-profit group Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.

The government is due to imminently set out a detailed plan for how the UK’s transport emissions will be cut to net-zero emissions by 2050.


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