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SUVs second biggest cause of emissions rise, figures reveal

(The Guardian, 25 Oct 2019) If SUV drivers were a nation, they would rank seventh in the world for carbon emissions.

Growing demand for SUVs was the second largest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions from 2010 to 2018, an analysis has found.

In that period, SUVs doubled their global market share from 17% to 39% and their annual emissions rose to more than 700 megatonnes of CO2, more than the yearly total emissions of the UK and the Netherlands combined.

No energy sector except power drove a larger increase in carbon emissions, putting SUVs ahead of heavy industry (including iron, steel, cement and aluminium), aviation and shipping.

“We were quite surprised by this result ourselves,” said Laura Cozzi, the chief energy modeller of the International Energy Agency, which produced the report.

The recent dramatic shift towards heavier SUVs has offset both efficiency improvements in smaller cars and carbon savings from electric vehicles.

As the global fleet of SUVs has grown, emissions from the vehicles have increased more than fourfold in eight years. If SUV drivers were a nation, they would rank seventh in the world for carbon emissions.

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The Guardian, 25 Oct 2019: SUVs second biggest cause of emissions rise, figures reveal