Figures show traffic levels in some rural areas have increased by 40% over the last 15 years making transport the fastest-growing source of domestic carbon emissions.
According to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), most regions have failed to work out whether individual transport scheme proposals would increase or decrease carbon emissions.
The news comes ahead of the Department for Transport's consideration of requests for transport funding made by English regional authorities.
But the CPRE fears the requests will lead to a situation where it was "bulldozing as usual" instead of considering the climate change targets.
CPRE senior transport campaigner Ralph Smyth said: "With the Climate Change Act 2008's legal targets to slash carbon emissions, it should not be business as usual for rural areas if the regions are to tackle growing car dependence effectively."
He added decision-makers were unwilling to "face up to the incompatibility of rising traffic levels and lower carbon emissions", but urgent investment in all transport was needed to give people a real choice for low-carbon travel.
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