"The continued global rise in sales of SUVs pushed their climate-heating
emissions to almost 1bn tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2022, according to the
International Energy Agency.
The 330m sport utility vehicles on the roads produced emissions equivalent to
the combined national emissions of the UK and Germany last year. If SUVs were a
country, they would rank as the sixth most polluting in the world.
Climate campaigners are increasingly concerned about the impact of SUVs. The
activist group Tyre Extinguishers said it had deflated the tyres of hundreds of
SUVs in Europe on Monday nightin the run-up to the first anniversary of its
The vehicles are larger and heavier than regular cars and use on average 20%
more fuel. The increased number of SUVs in 2022 were responsible for a third of
the increase in global oil demand.
Purchases of SUVs have soared in recent years, rising from 20% of new cars in
2012 to 46% of all cars last year, the IEA reports. The rise continued in 2022,
includes significant growth in the US, India and Europe, despite the overall
number of cars sold falling slightly.
About one in six SUVs sold in 2022 were electric. But the IEA experts said:
“Electric SUVs are growing in popularity, but not quickly enough to offset the
increasing oil consumption and emissions of the wider fleet."
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