Land Rover forecourts targeted in first national day of action against 4x4s

Posted by bex — 4 June 2005 at 8:00am - Comments

A Greenpeace volunteer on the Land Rover forecourt

Teams of Greenpeace volunteers took action this morning to disrupt sales of some of the most gas guzzling 4x4s on sale at Land Rover dealerships in seven major cities across the UK. The activity kicked off the first national day of action against 4x4s.

Small teams of Greenpeace volunteers entered Land Rover dealerships in London, Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Southampton and handcuffed themselves to Range Rovers and Land Rover Discovery 4x4s. Wheel clamps were put on some cars and the forecourts have been branded 'climate crime scenes' with climate crime scene tape surrounding the gas-guzzling 4x4s. In another 30 towns Greenpeace volunteers are picketing at Land Rover dealerships.

The cars involved are some of the least fuel-efficient vehicles and the volunteers hope to disrupt sales of them in a bid to stop them wrecking the climate.

Speaking from a London Land Rover forecourt Greenpeace Executive Director Stephen Tindale said: "We've taken direct action today across the country to stop Land Rover from selling these climate wrecking cars. A petrol Range Rover Sport does a measly 12mpg in town. That's less miles per gallon than a Model T Ford did 80 years ago. In a world where 150,000 people are dying each year because of climate change selling cars like this for urban use is indefensible."

Land Rover is aggressively marketing these gas-guzzlers for use in cities. Once associated with hard-wearing vehicles for farming and other commercial uses Land Rover now markets their 4x4s as glamorous products for urban dwellers with ᆪ3.2million a year spent on advertising in London alone. Publicity material for the new Range Rover Sport boasts: "On-road it is astounding. There has never been a Land Rover so focused on precise handling, agility and awesome tarmac performance."

"Land Rover bosses are climate criminals, they continue to build and sell some of the most polluting and climate damaging cars around today," said Tindale. "Land Rover and parent company Ford have the know-how and expertise to develop far more fuel efficient vehicles but are choosing not to. Considering the climate crisis the world is entering that is nothing short of criminal."

In the UK transport accounts for about a quarter of all emissions that cause climate change, transport is also the fastest rising sector of UK emissions. The government's Chief Scientific Advisor Sir David King recently said he "didn't think it was defensible to drive round in SUV's in cities." It time for Tony Blair to increase road tax on gas-guzzlers to clear them off our city roads. Most of them don't tackle anything more challenging than a speed hump yet they do four times as much damage to the climate as most fuel efficient family cars.

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