Tyre Extinguishers: Scores of SUVs have tyres deflated by activists – BBC.com


Climate activists have deflated the tyres of scores of SUVs across parts of London overnight.
Notes have been left by the group – Tyre Extinguishers – on the sports utility vehicles apologising for targeting the "gas guzzler" cars.
Thought to be a splinter group of Extinction Rebellion, it said it wanted to "make it impossible to own an SUV in the UK's urban areas".
Vehicles in Chelsea, Chiswick, Notting Hill and Belgravia have been targeted.
Other areas in the capital said to be hit included Harley Street, Hampstead Heath and Clapham.
It is Tyre Extinguishers' first action as part of a series of protests, the group said.
In a statement, the group said it wanted to see bans on SUVs in urban areas, pollution levies to tax SUVs out of existence, and more investment in public transport.
SUVs, sometimes nicknamed "Chelsea tractors", are typically defined by their large size and off-road features such as high ground clearance and four-wheel drive.
A study by the International Energy Agency said increasing demand for SUVs was the second biggest contributor to the growth in carbon emissions.
Annual emissions from SUVs rose to more than 700 megatonnes of CO2, and if SUV drivers were a country they would be seventh in the world for carbon emissions, the agency claimed.
By BBC London transport correspondent Tom Edwards
These activists are copying a similar movement in Sweden from 2019 – that led to a big drop in SUV sales.
Cars like 4x4s and SUVs have long attracted criticism from environmentalists for being unnecessary in an urban environment.
The argument goes they take up too much space and many of them have high carbon emissions.
Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone once tried to charge users of such cars £20 a day to enter the congestion charging zone.
We are now seeing individual choices being targeted by groups. When I asked this group what they'd say to the owners, they said: "It's not you, it's your car."
A spokesperson for the Met said: "We are aware of a statement by Tyre Extinguisher alleging damage to vehicles at various locations in London by them.
"We ask that reports of this nature are made through the Met's website and we will assess these to establish whether offences have been committed.
"At this time, we are not aware of any investigations being launched."
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