Global climate treaty may demand more carbon cuts from "poor" countries

China is now the world’s biggest emitter and second biggest economy, prompting many nations to question whether the divisions that were relevant 20 years ago should still apply today.

Ministers from the world’s least developed countries, small island states and a sprinkling of developed and larger developing nations gathered in Brussels for a two-day meeting ahead of global climate change talks in Bonn next week.

Connie Hedegaard, the European climate chief, who was hosting the meeting, said: “Countries have recognised that the old division between developed and developing countries – there are limits to how useful that is in the 21st century.”