The energy roadmaps, published online in the science journal Joule yesterday, were compiled by a team of researchers led by Professor Mark Jacobson, director of Stanford University's Atmosphere and Energy Program.
They set out a path to transform the energy infrastructure of 139 countries to run solely on power generated from wind, water and sunlight. This includes the electricity, transportation, heating and cooling, industry, agriculture, forestry and fishing industries of more than 70 per cent of the countries in the world, representing 99 per cent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions.
The team argue that such a conversion to clean power by 2050, while ambitious, will create around 24.3 million more permanent full-time jobs than those lost from retiring the fossil fuel industries. Around 4.6 million premature deaths would be prevented from air pollution, and $28.5tr in climate costs would be avoided every year by 2050.