Britain could cut carbon emissions to zero in 20 years but only if people accept a virtual end to air travel and stop using fuel-driven cars, a report by the Centre for Alternative Technology argues

Meat would also need to disappear off many menus and an “armada” of wind turbines built around the coast to achieve the goal, says the new research.

Money would meanwhile be overtaken in importance by carbon credits traded by everyone using special smart cards. They claim that Britain could cut fossil fuel emissions to zero by 2027, even assuming we only had our own resources to rely on.

CAT development director Paul Allen said: “What we are saying is that we need a huge programme, a bit like the US space project in the 60s. When that was launched it was known to be a huge target, but the driving force to make it work was there. We think that zerocarbonbritain can do that again – it can give us a positive future.

“It is a political challenge but we had the political willpower to abolish slavery even though lots of people said that would cost the economy too much.”