Yes, we know that Ecologistas en Acción (EeA), a Spanish environmentalist group hasn't discovered the wheel, but has decided to publish a long report (40 pages in pdf format, in Spanish) in which they relate how bad wheels (in certain cases) are for the environment. The truth is that Europeans are buying more and more SUVs, and Spaniards are some of the biggest sinners.
First of all there's the issue of CO2 production figures which are above the 200 g/km for the 20 top-selling models in 2006 (Figures for 2007 are better but still far above the 130 g/km limit that's coming in 2012 and the current European average of 152 g/km). This adds to the fact that most of these are diesel vehicles that don't have a DPF (particulate filter), so and they send NOx to the atmosphere.

EeA also has a great concern about the use of these vehicles for recreational uses on forest paths or unpaved mountain roads which is killing fauna and flora. Some regional governments have actually forbidden off-roading in certain protected areas.

Mariano González, spokesperson of EeA said that "The sales increase for this type of vehicles is a direct consequence of advertising, which showcases them as the vehicle of for the successful individual, as well as a symbol of personal freedom and power, besides being considered a safer vehicle." And the report refers to a NHTSA report from 2003 that spoke about the SUV roll-over accidents (most modern SUVs have made significant improvements here).

EeA hopes that the new CO2-dependent tax system will hamper SUV sales in the country, as well as in the rest of Europe. We'll see.

[Source: Ecologistas en Acción]
[Edited: Thanks to Markus for noticing the mistake]

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