Developing countries at the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen demanded that rich nations commit money and accept sharper cuts in their emissions.

The calls highlight the divisions among the world’s rich and poor nations that stand in the way of a new global climate deal.

Representatives of China – the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter – said President Barack Obama’s proposal that the US reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020 isn’t ambitious enough.

Su Wei, the Chinese chief negotiator, said industrialised countries must provide money and technology for developing countries as they seek to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The calls came as the UK media reported yesterday that talks were in chaos after developing countries reacted furiously to leaked documents that showed world leaders will be asked to sign an agreement that hands more power to rich countries, sidelining the UN’s role in all future climate change negotiations.

The so-called Danish text, a secret draft document, is also being interpreted by developing countries as setting unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050, the Guardian newspaper reported.

This would mean that people in rich countries would be able to emit nearly twice as much under the proposals.

Developing countries want billions of US dollars to reduce their own emissions and limit the impact of global warming, but rich nations have yet to pledge specific figures.