Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Copenhagen 'must produce targets'

Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen (file photo)
Mr Rasmussen said an agreement should be "binding and concrete"

Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen has said there must be firm pledges on greenhouse gas reductions at December's climate talks in Copenhagen.

Mr Rasmussen said he wanted delegates to put "numbers on the table" and reach a "concrete and binding" agreement.

The summit will attempt to draw up a new global climate treaty to supplant the UN's 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

Earlier, US President Barack Obama said the US and China agreed on the need for a comprehensive deal in Copenhagen.

Speaking in Beijing after talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Mr Obama appeared to raise hopes that such an agreement could be reached.

"Our aim there is not a partial accord or a political declaration, but rather an accord that covers all of the issues in the negotiations and one that has immediate operational effect," he said.

Richard Black
We are into a miasma of nuance here; but for different parties, all of the nuances are important

The comment seemed to be at odds with a much less ambitious statement from world leaders, including Mr Obama and Mr Hu, on Saturday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) forum.

Then, leaders failed to agree a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and instead said they viewed the Copenhagen summit as a "staging post", rather than an end point.

But Mr Obama's remarks appeared to chime with those of Mr Rasmussen.

"I am glad that the Danish strategy was supported today in Beijing at the Chinese-American summit... it confirms that we have taken the right stance," Mr Rasmussen said, following preparatory talks involving environment ministers from 44 countries.

The agreement "should be concrete and binding on countries committing to reach targets", he said.

"Copenhagen should neither be a stopover nor a tiny stepping stone, as some proclaim."

Danish Environment Minister Connie Hedegaard described the two-day meeting as "very constructive".

Developing nations have called for richer countries to reduce their emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2020, but so far there has been little enthusiasm for the suggestion.

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