The report predicts a future where city centres up and down the country will have banned passenger cars by 2030 and by 2050 most cars will run on fuel cells or by electricity and emissions could have reduced to practically nothing, the study predicts.
Produced by the Government-funded Tyndall Centre, and billed as the UK’s first comprehensive road map to a low-carbon economy, Living Within A Carbon Budget says Britain needs to dramatically reduce its carbon emissions with transport playing a key role. On the need for more fuel-efficient cars, the study, produced for The Co-operative Bank and Friends of the Earth, said: ‘Technology has the potential to make very large cuts in emissions from road vehicles.
‘The fuel efficiency of the UK car fleet has actually decreased recently despite manufacturers’ voluntary agreement with the EU to improve efficiencies. Living Within a Carbon Budget suggests the amount of carbon dioxide released per car kilometre could by cut by two-thirds by 2030.’
The report also lists a number of short and medium-term transport measures that it says will reduce carbon emissions, including cutting motorway speed limits to 60mph and increasing vehicle excise duty on less efficient vehicles.
Dr Kevin Anderson, research director for the Tyndall Centre’s energy and climate change programme, said: ‘Our research demonstrates that the UK can move to a low carbon economy. However, the journey will become much more demanding the longer the Government leaves it to act.
‘To make a smooth transition to a low carbon future the Government, business and we as individuals need to immediately begin to implement a major programme of action to significantly reduce our carbon emissions.’