SUVs are back, and they’re spewing a boggling amount of carbon

How can we end our love affair with sport utility vehicles?

Sure, I get it: They carry more people than sedans, and they
look cooler than minivans. But consider the facts. A
new analysis from the International Energy Agency
shows that
there are 35 million more SUVs on the road today than in 2010. The
number of electric vehicles increased by just 5 million in the same
time period. The result: The business of driving humans around is
guzzling more gas. So, while greenhouse gas pollution from regular
passenger vehicles actually declined since 2010, emissions from
SUVs and trucks have increased enough to wipe out those gains, and
then some. SUVs, counted alone, are now warming our planet more
than heavy industry.

These gas guzzlers could single-handedly eliminate the
possibility that the world achieves the climate goals
set in Paris in 2016
by insuring that transportation emissions
continue to swell. The new IEA analysis concludes: “If
consumers’ appetite for SUVs continues to grow at a similar pace
seen in the last decade, SUVs would add nearly 2 million barrels a
day in global oil demand by 2040, offsetting the savings from
nearly 150 million electric cars.”

If you aren’t motivated by the long-term threat of climate
change, perhaps you may learn to dislike SUVs if they threaten to
kill you. As
Kate Yoder pointed out
, every one of these vehicles that goes
on the road makes the world more dangerous for everyone but the
people in them. Pedestrian deaths have reached the
highest levels in decades, thanks largely to the influx of bigger
vehicles
packing heavier punches.

So more deaths and more emissions. We got a preview of this
trend in recent numbers coming out of California,
where SUVs are also threatening to leave state climate goals broken
and bleeding
into the gutter.

The fact that beefy vehicles make their drivers a little safer,
while endangering everyone around them is a hint as to why it’s
been so hard to end our toxic relationship with SUVs. The people
making the choice reap the benefits, while everyone else bears the
cost. That’s the larger problem popping up here, in the form of
surging SUV sales. It’s the problem that runs, and ruins, the
world.

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline
SUVs are back, and they’re spewing a boggling amount of
carbon
on Oct 18, 2019.

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
SUVs are back, and they’re spewing a boggling amount of carbon