Climate activists have warned SUV drivers across Scotland will be targeted in an onslaught of tyre deflation vandalism over their use of “unnecessary environmental luxuries”.
The group, calling themselves the Tyre Extinguishers, let the air out of more than 30 high carbon emission vehicles yards from a police station in the “posh” Edinburgh area of Portobello – weeks after dozens of others came under attack in the capital’s New Town.
They have claimed responsibility for similar incidents in cities across the UK as well as those in Europe, the United States and New Zealand and have demanded newly elected councillors “take action in climate, air pollution and road safety” by “taxing [the vehicles] out of existence”.
They added their end goal was to make it “impossible” to own an SUV – which can contribute up to 25 per cent more CO2 on average than smaller cars – in urban areas.
In a statement issued to STV News, a spokesperson for the organisation said: “SUVs are unnecessary luxury emissions flaunted by the wealthy that are a climate disaster, cause air pollution and make our roads more dangerous.
“Edinburgh’s politicians have been elected with promises to take action on the climate crisis, on air pollution and on road safety. But their plans go nowhere near far enough.
“Our message to them is: Take real action, or we’ll take it for you.”
They added: “We are growing really rapidly and if you own a huge polluting SUV in a UK urban area, you should consider replacing it before you wake up to find your car deflated.”
Research in 2021 found SUV sales in the UK have outstripped those of fully electric vehicles by a factor of 37 to one since 2017.
Police Scotland said it had been made aware of the incident and were investigating.
Activists also targeted similar cars in Glasgow during protests surrounding the COP26 conference in November.
On that occasion, the “Tyred of SUV’s” group carried out the activity by deflating up to 60 tyres in the West End of the city.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We are carrying out enquiries after reports that a number of car tyres were deflated in Edinburgh recently.”