Motorway lights

The public will have to stop using personal cars in order to meet the government's climate change targets, a report by MPs argues.

Analysis carried out by the Science and Technology Committee found that existing plans to swap existing petrol and diesel cars for electric vehicles simply will not be enough.

The report said: “In the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonisation.”

The Committee's report acknowledges the need for significant improvement and investment in infrastructure for public transport and cycling, which it adds which result in greater health benefits as well as being better for the environment.

It also called on the government to review its policies on public transport prices to encourage greater use amongst the public.

The AA said MPs had underestimated the impact technology can have in reducing carbon emissions in vehicles. However, a similar report by a climate change charity suggests that even zero-emissions electric vehicles produce pollution through their tyres and brakes.

Speaking to the BBC, the AA’s president Edmund King, said: “Stating that widespread personal vehicle ownership isn’t compatible with significant decarbonisation seems to be giving up on emerging science and technology.

“Technology is developing at a rapid rate with great potential from more efficient electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

"More emphasis should be going into renewable energy and greener vehicle production rather than higher fuel duty or banning hybrids, as the report recommends.

“The fastest growth in traffic is by vans due to internet deliveries so more technological effort should be put into decarbonising that sector as a priority.”

Responding to the report, a government spokesperson said: "From transport to heating, electricity to agriculture, we are working to put in place the right measures to help us tackle global warming. We welcome the committee's report and will consider its findings.

"We are going further and faster to tackle climate change than any other major economy having legislated for net zero emissions by 2050."