Activists deflate tyres of 'luxury' cars in carbon emissions protest

Activists deflate tyres of 'luxury' cars in carbon emissions protest

Eco-anarchists target Glasgow gas-guzzlers: Fury as ‘idiot’ activists DEFLATE tyres of 60 4X4s parked in city hosting COP26 and slap ‘climate violation’ flyers on windscreens… but police make NO arrests

  • Climate activists deflate the tyres of 60 ‘gas-guzzling luxury cars’ in one of Glasgow’s wealthiest districts
  • ‘Tyred of SUVs’ protesters place fake ‘climate violation’ flyers on windscreens made to look like parking tickets
  • They condemn motorists for being part of a trend of ‘unnecessary luxury lifestyle choices in rich countries’
  • Police Scotland says it has put on ‘increased patrols in the area to provide reassurance to local residents’
  • Activists are a breakaway from Glasgow Calls Out Polluters, a group of fossil fuel divestment campaigners

Climate activists have been slammed as ‘idiots’ after deflating the tyres of 60 ‘gas-guzzling luxury cars’ including Range Rovers and other 4×4 vehicles parked in one of Glasgow’s wealthiest districts during COP26.

The group – which calls itself ‘Tyred of SUVs’ – said it let down tyres of the sport utility vehicles in the West End of the city, which were owned by local residents rather than attendees of the climate change conference in Glasgow.

Police Scotland said it had put on ‘increased patrols in the area to provide reassurance to local residents’, but also confirmed no arrests have been made and refused to tell MailOnline whether any further action will be taken. 

The protesters placed fake ‘climate violation’ flyers on windscreens which were made to look like parking tickets, and condemned motorists for being part of a trend of ‘unnecessary luxury lifestyle choices in rich countries’.

The fluorescent yellow posters stated: ‘Your SUV contributes to the second biggest cause of carbon emissions rises in the last decade. This is why we have disarmed your car by deflating one or more of its tyres.’

The campaigners, who are among thousands of protesters who have travelled to Glasgow over the past fortnight to take part in demonstrations, added on the flyer: ‘Action is required from you: Go small. Go public transport.’ 

It is not clear what offence any of the activists – if identified – could be arrested or charged with under Scottish law, although one possibility is vandalism under the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995. 

This legislation states under section 52 that ‘any person who, without reasonable excuse, wilfully or recklessly destroys or damages any property belonging to another shall be guilty of the offence of vandalism’. 

Those convicted of this offence in a district court can be imprisoned for a maximum of 60 days or given a fine of up to £1,000. In a sheriff court they could be sent to prison for up to three months or given a fine of £10,000. 

Tyred of SUVs have ‘strongly denied’ damaging any tyres – which have to be pumped back up – and insisted that ‘deflation via the valve is by far the quickest and easiest way to deflate a tyre, and leaves the tyre intact’.

The group is made up of breakaway activists from Glasgow Calls Out Polluters (GCOP), a group of fossil fuel divestment campaigners who formed after the city was announced in August 2019 as the COP26 host location. 

GCOP is not thought to be directly linked to Insulate Britain, a group of eco zealots who have blocked roads on 19 days since September 13, causing misery for drivers stuck around London, Manchester, Birmingham and Dover.

At least 161 people have been involved in the roadblock protests over the past two months and there have been at least 860 arrests. Up to 32 of the group’s activists face up to two years in jail for breaching a High Court injunction.

It comes as COP26 ends today with the fate of a landmark global agreement on climate change hanging in the balance with major coal producing countries such as India and Russia demanding that it be watered down. 

The summit is expected to have a carbon footprint twice as large as the last conference on climate change, making it the most carbon-intensive summit of its kind, according to a preliminary report for the UK Government by consultants Arup which states 102,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) is due to be released by the event.

And there has been criticism of long flights taken by world leaders and business magnates including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos whose £48million Gulf Stream led a 400-strong parade of private jets into COP26 a fortnight ago, including those belonging to Prince Albert of Monaco, scores of royals and dozens of ‘green’ chief executives. 

Climate activists have deflated the tyres of 60 ‘gas-guzzling luxury cars’ parked in the West End of Glasgow yesterday

The group said the tyres of the sport utility vehicles in the West End of Glasgow were let down during its action yesterday

The protesters placed fake ‘climate violation’ flyers on windscreens yesterday which were made to look like parking tickets

GCOP have been involved in various protests over the past fortnight and joined with Extinction Rebellion on Monday to block a busy road by chaining themselves to bicycles in the city, leading to 16 arrests.

Among the motorists affected by the protests was pharmacist Jamie MacConnacher, who discovered the two front tyres of his Land Rover had been deflated yesterday morning – along with several other cars in the local area.

What to do if your vehicle tyre has been deflated

Climate activists at ‘Tyred of SUVs’ say they deflated the tyres, and did not damage them. They insisted that ‘deflation via the valve is by far the quickest and easiest way to deflate a tyre, and leaves the tyre intact’.

But a flat tyre needs to be pumped up before driving away because this could otherwise damage the wheels.

Halford recommends removing the cap and inserting an LED tyre pressure gauge into the valve, which displays pressure in PSI (pound force per square inch). You can then compare the measured PSI to the recommended PSI of your tyres. This can be established by checking the numbers on the sidewall of the tyre, to give its size.

This can then be compared against the recommended pressures, which will be in the owner’s manual and often on the inside of the driver’s door sill or the fuel cap.

You can then top up the pressure using a tyre inflator, by removing the value caps and press the hose fitting down on the valve. Then press the lever, or, if the hose has a screw fitting, screw until tight. Once the inflator is turned on, you should feel air flowing through the hose.

The gauge will show when the correct pressure has been reached. You should then recheck the pressures with the digital gauge, and put the valve caps back on.

He told BBC Radio Scotland’s Drivetime programme: ‘I don’t think targeting individuals that have these vehicles is the right way to do it. They don’t know what the reason for somebody having that car is.

‘I understand that there is a need for change, I’m totally for that. I would have an electric car but it’s the logistics in the West End of Glasgow. There’s nowhere to charge outside your flat so it just doesn’t work for me.’

Solicitor and mother Lucy Conn, 31, who lives in Glasgow’s West End, said she found her tyres had been deflated after leaving her house at about 12.30pm yesterday to go on the nursery run.

But she said her car was unfairly targeted because it is a two-wheel car with a 1.6 litre engine – and not an SUV.

Ms Conn added that the tyres of her neighbour’s car, which has a 1.2 litre engine, had also been deflated.

She told The Scotsman: ‘I thought it was a bit mean given there were two car seats in the back of the car – it’s obviously not a car for one person. It is always normal folk that get the brunt of it.’

Tyred of SUVs later apologised for this specific incident, telling the newspaper: ‘Our intention was to target SUVs only. If Ms Conn’s car was targeted by our group, we apologise.

‘The mistake may have been due to the fact that more and more non-SUVs are being designed to look like SUVs — apparently, climate destruction is fashionable.’ 

Other motorists hit by the action took to social media to air their frustration, including Victoria Young who tweeted: ‘To the idiots who did this to my car as I’m trying to get to Paisley High Court this morning.

‘Did it ever occur to you that the driver might have to use their vehicle in an emergency? It’s being reported to Police Scotland.’ 

One member of Tyred of SUVs, known only as Fin, told the BBC: ‘We feel we need to do this because we need to point to the people who are responsible – rich people in the global north.

The campaigners wrote at the bottom of the flyers on cars: ‘Action is required from you: Go small. Go public transport’

Tyred of SUVs, which left the above leaflets on car windscreens yesterday, have ‘strongly denied’ damaging any tyres

‘This is a minor inconvenience that is not going to disrupt them in a huge way. What is really going to disrupt people’s lives and kill them is the climate crisis caused by rich people – basically SUV owners.’

Tyred of SUVs said that no tyres were damaged in the action. A spokesman for the group said: ‘If 4×4 drivers were a nation, they’d be the 7th biggest polluters on the planet (Source: International Energy Agency). 

‘If the 1 per cent won’t take responsibility for the climate destruction they wreak, we’ll make them.’

A Police Scotland spokesman told MailOnline: ‘We are aware of these incidents and there will be increased patrols in the area to provide reassurance to local residents.’

COP26 ‘had carbon footprint TWICE as big as last conference’: Preliminary report finds 102,500 tonnes of CO2 was pumped into atmosphere due to Glasgow summit… compared to 51,101 from Madrid in 2019

  • Report states 102,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalent is due to be released by summit
  • Around 60% is from international flights taken by world and business leaders
  • Jeff Bezos led a 400-strong parade of private jets into Cop26 a fortnight ago
  • Findings come as conference nears the end of its second full week in Glasgow 

By KATIE WESTON FOR MAILONLINE

Cop26 is expected to have a carbon footprint twice as large as the last conference on climate change, making it the most carbon-intensive summit of its kind.

A preliminary report for the UK Government by consultants Arup states 102,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) is due to be released by the summit in Glasgow.

This comes in comparison to 51,101 tCO2e from Cop25 in Madrid in 2019.

Around 60 per cent is produced by international flights taken by world leaders and business magnates including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, said The Scotsman newspaper.

His £48million Gulf Stream led a 400-strong parade of private jets into Cop26 a fortnight ago, including those belonging to Prince Albert of Monaco, scores of royals and dozens of ‘green’ CEOs. 

The findings come as Cop26 nears the end of its second full week in Glasgow, with more than 30,000 people expected to attend the conference. 

US President Joe Biden is pictured boarding Air Force One at Edinburgh Airport after attending the UN Climate Change Conference Cop26 on November 2

Boris Johnson, who was condemned after returning to London last Tuesday via private jet, is pictured arriving at the Cop26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow on November 10

The UK Government said this year’s summit is the largest climate change conference so far, and the Arup report includes emissions from both the blue and green zones.

The Arup report said its figure of 102,500 tCO2e represented ‘the best working assessment of the emissions from the event’.

Commenting on the report, Greenpeace UK’s Dr Doug Parr said: ‘The meeting in Glasgow is not supposed to be a demonstration of sustainable lifestyles, and it shouldn’t be judged in those terms.

‘But the failure to reach any meaningful agreement about limiting aviation’s vast carbon emissions – at a conference where 60% of their emissions came from aviation, with a backing chorus of media outrage at the private jet hypocrisy of the elites – really highlights the lack of equity in these talks.

‘Creating loopholes for the use of the rich not only maintains their disproportionately high emissions, but makes it so much harder to persuade anyone else to cut.’

The total greenhouse gas emissions for Cop25, which was held in Madrid in 2019, stood at 51,101 tCO2e, while at Cop21 in Paris in 2015 the figure was 43,000 tCO2e. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives in Edinburgh, Scotland, to attend COP26 on November 1. Delegates have been asked to consider low-carbon methods of travel to Cop26

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives for Cop26 in Glasgow on November 1. A definitive total of the event’s carbon footprint is expected to be published in coming months

Jeff Bezos’ Gulfstream private jet – which reportedly cost him £48million – arrives at Prestwick Airport near Glasgow on October 31

Cop15 in Copenhagen in 2009 produced around 26,000 tCO2e of emissions.

Jeff Bezos is accused of being a hypocrite for lecturing COP26 about cutting emissions after flying in on his £48million private jet 

Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos was accused of hypocrisy after telling world leaders that going to space made him realise ‘how thin the globe’s atmosphere is’ and ‘the private sector must also play its part to reduce carbon emissions’.

The billionaire has been criticised by Prince William among others for the amount of fossil fuel that space exploration consumes – and arrived at the UN climate change summit in his £48m private jet, fresh from celebrating Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ 66th birthday on a superyacht off the coast of Turkey. 

Billionaire Mr Bezos, who earlier this year made a short journey to space in the first crewed flight of his rocket ship, New Shepard, has pledged $2billion (£1.47 billion) for land restoration in Africa, paid as part of the Bezos Earth Fund.

He told delegates: ‘I was told that seeing the Earth from space changes the lens through which you see the world. But I was not prepared for how much that would be true. Looking back at earth from up there, the atmosphere seems so thin. The world so finite and so fragile. Now in this critical year, and what we all know is the decisive decade, we must all stand together to protect our world.’

Nadia Whittome, Labour MP for Nottingham East, was among Mr Bezos’s critics, calling him a ‘hypocrite’ and writing: ‘Amazon has a carbon footprint larger than most countries.’  

Arup’s seven-page executive summary of the Cop26 carbon management plan notes the 102,500 tCO2e total includes: business travel during pre-event planning; energy, waste, and water use in the accommodation for all blue zone attendees; and operational emissions from emergency service vehicles.

Arup said the figure represented ‘the best working assessment of the emissions from the event,’ based on planning parameters, carbon reporting for previous Cops, and lessons learnt from the foot-printing of previous similar events.

Flight radar data also shows that some jets have been flying from Glasgow Airport in Paisley, Renfrewshire, to Glasgow Prestwick Airport in South Ayrshire in order to park – a journey of less than 30 miles.

Delegates have been asked to consider low-carbon methods of travel to Cop26. 

Mr Johnson was condemned after returning to London from Glasgow last Tuesday via private jet to reportedly attend a function at a men-only private members’ club.

Downing Street said the journey was taken with consideration of ‘time restraints’, but Anneliese Dodds, the Labour party chair, accused Mr Johnson of ‘staggering hypocrisy’. When the Prime Minister returned to Glasgow on Wednesday, he did so by train.

Monica Lennon, Scottish Labour’s spokeswoman for net zero, energy, and transport, said at the time: ‘If Cop26 is to deliver the bold change needed, then those involved should lead by example.

‘Travel emissions were always going to be inevitable, but this stark rise will no doubt raise some eyebrows.

‘We all have a responsibility to do our part and those setting the rules must be willing to play by them.

‘Warm words will ring hollow if they’re not matched with action.’

The UK Government has pledged COP26 will be carbon neutral, a promise it aims to uphold via the purchase of UNFCCC-recognised offsets such as certified emission reductions.

It says that Glasgow will be the first COP to achieve validation using the PAS2060 international standard on carbon neutrality, and the ‘key priority’ of its carbon management plan was to ‘reduce and avoid emissions’.  

A spokeswoman for the UK Government said: ‘As official UNFCCC figures show, Cop26 is a substantially bigger event than other recent Cops, with over 39,000 participants as against nearly 27,000 at Cop25.

MailOnline observed 41 private jets leave in total on November 2 between 2pm and 11pm – the majority of them rental services making it hard to identify who was on board

The US President seen boarding Air Force One at Edinburgh Airport after attending the UN Climate Change Conference Cop26 on November 2

‘Cop26 will be a carbon neutral event and will be the first Cop to demonstrate carbon neutrality validation through PAS2060, the internationally recognised standard on carbon neutrality.

‘As part of its analysis, the Government has for the first time included both the full blue and green zone impacts, giving a fuller and more accurate picture of emissions from the site.’

The Government said the Arup report is a baseline assessment which would not fully reflect many of the emission-reduction measures, while final emissions will be confirmed following the event.

A definitive total of the event’s carbon footprint is expected to be published in coming months, once the data has been received and analysed. 

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