Carbon emissions continue to rise despite the cry of a “climate emergency.” Consumers are doing their part to drive self-extinction in their SUVs.

The global passenger car market is stagnant, with sales hovering at ~88 million cars sold each year. Meanwhile, SUV sales continue to climb.

Half the cars sold in the US are SUVs. Worldwide, SUVs comprise 40% of car sales. In Europe and India, 1/3rd of car sales are SUVs.

“An SUV is bigger, it’s heavier, the aerodynamics are poor, so you get more CO2,” observed Irish engineer Florent Grelier.

Globally, vehicle emissions have shot up over fourfold this decade, thanks to surging SUV sales. If SUV drivers were a nation, they would rank 7th for carbon emissions.

Consumer preference for porkier cars coincides with car makers’ promotions. Car manufacturers like SUVs for their fat profit margin.

SUVs are not just smokestacks on wheels. Whereas consumers think bulky SUVs are safer than smaller cars, people in an SUV are 11% more likely to die in a crash. SUVs are also much better for killing pedestrians.


Niko Kommenda, “SUVs second biggest cause of emissions rise, figures reveal,” The Guardian (25 October 2019).