The world desperately needs a modern "carbon revolution" to slow down global warming, a new study has suggested.
According to ENN (Environmental News Network), the study, conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute in the US, determined that the world needs a shift as radical as the Industrial Revolution to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 while safeguarding economic growth.
It said that a modern "carbon revolution" to curb global warming would require a tenfold rise by 2050 in the level of economic output for every tonne of greenhouse gases emitted, mainly by burning fossil fuels.
"This is comparable in magnitude to the labour productivity increases of the Industrial Revolution," the 48-page report said.
It estimated that the world needed to produce 7,300 dollars of gross domestic product (GDP) for every tonne of carbon dioxide emitted by 2050, up from a carbon productivity rate of 740 dollars now.
"Increasing carbon productivity tenfold in less than 50 years will be one of the greatest tests humankind has ever faced. But both history and economics give us confidence it can be done," the report said.
The study estimated that the costs of a "carbon revolution" were likely to be "manageable", at about 0.6 to 1.4 percent of global GDP by 2030.
Large amounts of the costs could be raised by borrowing, muting any impact on growth.
The cost estimates are in line with those by the U.N. Climate Panel last year, which said rising temperatures would spawn ever more heatwaves, more powerful storms, droughts, a spread of deserts and rising sea levels.
But the McKinsey study said that the pace of change would have to be faster than during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
It noted that labour productivity rose tenfold in the United States between 1830 and 1955.
"The tenfold increase in labour productivity was achieved over 125 years; the carbon revolution needs to be achieved in only 42," it said.
It also said that the world could make big savings in energy use with measures such as improving insulation of buildings.
New technologies, such as ways to bury carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants in countries from China to the United States, could help clean up emissions.
According to the report, the world should also invest more in research and development, perhaps up to 80 billion dollars a year by 2050.
Among other recommendations were to slow deforestation and plant more trees because plants soak up carbon dioxide as they grow.