“Some developing countries, rapidly catching up to the industrialised world in greenhouse gas emissions, must take more responsibility for the output and act to curb it,” said Bourguignon. He added that while industrialised nations still account for about 60% of emissions, that figure is expected to fall to around 50% by 2020 and the bulk of incremental emissions will come from rapidly growing developing countries, like China, India, Brazil and Mexico.

“Definitely, the developing countries have to do something now, [as] it will be very difficult to compensate [for] this increase in emissions by reducing the emissions of developed countries,” concluded Bourguignon.

The Bank says the answer lies in boosting energy efficiency, without forcing countries to curb industrial production, steps that can be attained more easily in developing countries by, for example, switching from coal-fired plants to cleaner power generation or carbon credit trading.

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