Page last updated at 22:41 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Industrialised nations' carbon cut plans 'are pathetic'

A power plant behind Bella Center, the venue of the UN climate conference, in Copenhagen
Fifty-five nations met a deadline on spelling out their emissions cuts plans

Industrialised nations have set "pathetic" targets to reduce carbon emissions, says one of India's senior negotiators at the Copenhagen summit.

One of the summit's requirements was for countries to spell out by 31 January how they would cut emissions.

But industrialised nations had failed to set the "truly ambitious" targets needed, Chandrashekhar Dasgupta said.

Britain's Energy Secretary Ed Miliband said the commitments made in Copenhagen were an important step forward.

Fifty-five countries met the deadline set in the Copenhagen Accord to spell out their plans to cut carbon emissions, although some had already announced their targets ahead of the December climate change summit.

Australia, for example, said it would cut emissions by 5% of its 2000 levels. Others like Japan and New Zealand said their commitments were dependent on a global deal.

'Lectured and hectored'

But Mr Dasgupta told The Report programme on BBC Radio 4: "We need truly ambitious emission reduction commitments from industrialised countries.

"If you see figures that industrialised countries have submitted in response to the Copenhagen Accord, these are truly pathetic."

BBC Radio 4, Thursday 11 February at 2000 GMT
Or listen via the BBC iPlayer
Or download the podcast.

He added: "The European Union had envisaged a reduction of from 25% to 30% from developed countries, they're nowhere near this."

Mr Dasgupta said developing countries were calling for industrialised nations to adopt a 40% target across a 30-year period.

He said developing nations had found themselves "lectured and hectored" by industrialised countries at the summit.

"We can do so much consistent with maintaining our development priorities. Beyond this, it is going to cost tens of billions of dollars," he added.

"If you can help out with this, that is well and good, we can do more - but otherwise we cannot pick up the tab, it is simply too heavy."

'Important step'

However, Britain's Mr Miliband said the commitments made by countries would produce progress.

"The upper end of the commitments will take us to a peaking of global emissions by about 2020, maybe a bit later," he said.

He said ambitious targets were needed, but added: "I do think the commitments made in the accord are an important step forward and I don't think they should be dismissed.

"The key is to get developed countries to drive up to the upper end of their commitments because that is what the world needs."

The Report is on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday, 11 February at 2000 GMT. You can also listen via the BBC iPlayer after broadcast or download the podcast.

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