If the world wants to avoid a "major planetary catastrophe" nearly 50 trillion pounds will have to be spent on green technology over the coming decades, the United Nations has claimed.
According to the UN's department of economic and social affairs, governments must invest three per cent of world GDP (about 1.2 trillion pounds in 2010), annually for 40 years to stop climate change and famine, the Telegraph reports.
The 2011 World Economic and Social Survey has revealed that at least 688 billion pounds will need to be spent each year in developing countries, in order to meet their populations' increasing demands for resources.
Rob Vos, the lead author of the report said that to feed a rapidly growing number of mouths, farmers around the world will have to essentially double total international food production between now and 2050.
But to do this sustainably would require huge spending on "clean" energy production, on reducing the non-bio-degradable waste and on other improvements to farming and forestry techniques, the report said.
The report said that the extent of technological transformation required was greater in scale, and must be done more quickly, than the industrial revolution.
"It is rapidly expanding energy use, mainly driven by fossil fuels, that explains why humanity is on the verge of breaching planetary sustainability boundaries," the report said.
"A comprehensive global energy transition is urgently needed in order to avert a major planetary catastrophe," it said.