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Campaign groups call for a ban on SUV advertising

After taking a time out to call on Premier League football teams to kick domestic flights into touch, climate charity Possible are calling for a ban on car manufacturers advertising SUVs.

‘We banned tobacco advertising because smoking kills,’ they say. ‘Now it’s time to put a stop to the promotion of highly polluting Sports Utility Vehicles.’

Following the people of Paris voting to triple parking charges for SUVs, Possible are hoping the British public might be similarly motivated to take a stand, and are asking them to add their name to petition calling on the Department for Media, Culture and Sport to end advertising for ‘climate-wrecking’ SUVs.


The ‘Badvertising’ campaign to stop adverts and sponsorships fuelling the climate emergency is organised by Possible along with the New Weather Institute think tank. 

‘Carwash’ is the title of their latest campaign, which is accompanied by an animation aiming to get more people thinking about the climate impact of SUVs.

‘Carwash’ is described as a condition which is: ‘chronic in modern societies and results from a deluge of carmakers’ adverts filled with natural landscapes and open roads, encouraging people to buy bigger, more dangerous SUV models.

‘Their adverts make a deep imprint in our brains via slick marketing campaigns and vague ‘green’ credentials, all the while boosting demand for these heavy, huge and highly polluting models, with SUVs producing 20% more CO2 emissions on average than conventional cars.’

Signatories to the petition are putting their name to three main objections to the promotion of  SUVs:

SUVs bring us closer to climate chaos. SUVs emit an average of 25% more CO2 than a medium-sized car and they are now the second highest cause of global emissions rise. Let’s stop promoting these highly polluting vehicles.

SUVs are dangerous. Compared to normal-sized cars, SUVs are deadlier when involved in collisions with pedestrians. So while SUV adverts promote these vehicles as the ultimate protection against the dangers of the road, they miss the point- every new SUV makes its owner feel safer by making our streets more dangerous for everyone else.

SUVs take up an unfair amount of space. Many SUVs don’t even fit in a standard parking space. With lockdown easing, now more than ever before, public space is at a premium. We all need space for socially-distanced walking and cycling options.

CARWASH: the dangers of SUV advertising from the Ministry for the Climate Emergency from New Weather Institute on Vimeo.

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