A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and WWF-UK claims that this is feasible without costing too much.
Government experts are to consider revising the climate bill's 60 per cent target (Planning, 2 November, p5). The report, which factors in aviation emissions, argues that this figure could still raise temperatures by 4 degsC.
An 80 per cent cut could be achieved by major investment in renewables and energy efficiency and significantly curbing aviation growth, it contends.
The cost would be two to three per cent of gross domestic product a year by 2050. An energy efficiency drive could cut this to 1.5 to two per cent, the report adds.
WWF-UK head of climate change Keith Allott insisted: "To keep below the critical threshold of 2 degsC global warming, countries such as the UK must cut emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050."
Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Chris Huhne added: "Ministers must stop the sideshow of new nuclear power now."
- 80 Per Cent Challenge is available at PlanningResource.co.uk/doc.