A report by the UK government's Committee on Climate Change is advocating road pricing and strict 70mph (110km/h) speed limits on motorways as well as 'eco-driving' lessons to help the country meet legally-binding carbon emissions targets.

The committee in its first annual report said the government was unlikely to be able to meet the target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 34% by 2020 unless there were radical changes in power generation, transport and homes.

The main transport recommendations are:

  • Subsidies for the car industry to encourage 1.7m electric cars onto the roads by 2020
  • Driving at no more than 70mph on motorways to conserve fuel
  • Teaching people to drive in higher gears and rev the engine less through 'eco-driving' lessons
  • More use of public transport or car sharing by making driving more expensive by introducing road pricing

Committee chief executive David Kennedy said reductions in carbon emissions would have to triple to 3% per annum by next year.

He said government policy needed to start introducing policy to change lifestyles, including road pricing, in order to encourage lifestyle change.

"We are not calling for government to rush ahead and introduce road pricing but it's something that should not go off the agenda in years to come," he said.