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Climate change targets 'reachable with high investment'

Climate change targets can be easily met provided there is a high initial investment, according to scientists.

A new study claims that a two degree Celsius rise in global temperatures, which would lead to 'dangerous' climate change, can be avoided if two per cent of the world's GDP is channelled towards the goal.

The figure is already close to the amount the EU spends combating climate change, but would need to be replicated around the world.

According to the study, which has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, small investments will have a low impact on the chances of avoiding widespread flooding, mass extinctions and rising seas.

While a two per cent of world GDP investment would lead to a 90 per cent chance of avoiding the temperature rise which would lead to severe problems, a 0.5 per cent increase would just give a ten per cent chance of avoiding that situation.

"In a sense ... our paper is bad news: doing a bit is hardly effective," Michiel Schaeffer of Wageningen University in the Netherlands and lead author of the study, told Reuters.

"On the other hand it's good news, because the return on the really 'painful' investments later on, of which the world is so afraid, gives you much better returns."

The UK is committed to cutting carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

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