RICH countries' pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions are up to 15 per cent short of what scientists warn is needed to avoid a two-degree temperature rise.
With 60 days until the Copenhagen climate summit, an analysis found targets proposed by rich countries would cut emissions 10-24 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. These were not enough to reach the 25-40 per cent the industrialised world has agreed is necessary based on the advice of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The analysis by US-based think tank World Resources Institute is consistent with a United Nations analysis reported in The Agein June.
It found current targets added up to a 16-24 per cent cut.
Australia's target is equivalent to a 4-24 per cent cut below 1990 levels.
A spokeswoman for Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said the Government believed all countries must increase their ambition on emissions.
''That is why, as one of the most carbon-intensive economies in the world, and 18 months after ratifying Kyoto, we increased our offer on mitigation - in an effort to provide momentum to the negotiations,'' she said.
A separate report by the International Energy Agency found the financial crisis could lead to world emissions falling by 3 per cent this year, the biggest decline in 40 years.
Released at UN climate talks in Bangkok, the report said it would lead to emissions in 2020 being 5 per cent lower than estimated a year ago.
To avoid two degrees of warming, the agency estimates energy emissions must be just 6 per cent higher in 2020 than in 2007.