By Sara Clarke for AM
ABC News Online, 7 November 2009
New research has found that developing countries including China, India, Brazil and Mexico are on track to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent by 2020.
The study commissioned by the German government is the first major assessment that quantifies the progress of developing nations' efforts to cut emissions.
Climate groups say it puts pressure on countries like Australia to come to the negotiating table proposing deep cuts to emissions and aid for poorer nations.
"We know China have got aggressive plans to improve energy efficiency and promote renewable energy, India are putting in plans and legislation, [and] we're seeing emissions trading systems emerge in Mexico and South Korea," the Climate Institute's Erwin Jackson said.
"If you add these policies up, they are starting to get to the levels which are more than sufficient to trigger developed country action in the order of 25 to 40 per cent reductions by 2020."
Mr Jackson says the report suggests the developed world, as a group, needs to do some catching-up.
"The major economies in the developing world are moving ahead with aggressive policies and, with international support through financing, they can do a lot more," he said.
"What this report shows is the developing world condition for Australia's 25 per cent target - it looks on track to being met.
"The key test, however, for the developing countries will be whether they're prepared to put these commitments into an international treaty."
But Mr Jackson says climate change talks in Copenhagen cannot be judged on whether it delivers a legally binding treaty.
"We've got to judge Copenhagen on whether it lays the foundations for the agreement of a binding treaty within six months of Copenhagen," he said.
"And the key to unlocking that will not only be the internationalising of countries targets, whether they be developing country actions or the United States's own actions, it's also going to be international financing.
"[That must address] how do we help developing countries and the private sector invest at scale in new low-carbon technologies in the developing world."