Carbon emissions from electricity generation could be reduced 70 percent by 2050, and eliminated entirely by 2060, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
So what would it take to eliminate carbon emissions entirely from making electricity?
The answer is both efficiency improvements, and a shift of the generating mix into renewable energy.
The study claims 90 percent of that reduction could be achieved by expanding renewable-energy use and by making improvements in a wide range of energy efficiency measures.
Renewable energy already accounts for 24 percent of global power generation, and 16 percent of "primary energy supply," according to IRENA.
But to achieve the necessary reduction in carbon emissions, it would need to reach 80 percent of power generation and 65 percent of primary energy supply by 2050, the study said.
Electric cars would need to become the "predominant" vehicle type by 2050, for example, and recharge largely on electricity from renewable sources.
Buildings would also need to convert to all-electric power, with a focus on energy efficiency.
A total of 2 billion buildings would need to be renovated or built new to achieve the necessary carbon-emissions reductions, according to the study.
Elimination of carbon emissions from electricity generation is a worthy and important goal, but environmentalists and policymakers will have to work hard to achieve the fairly ambitious goals called for by this study.