The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Yvo De Boer ruled out the possibility that a "comprehensive" international climate treaty will be ratified at Copenhagen in December.
De Boer, speaking at a press conference during the ongoing Summer Davos in Dalian, Northeast China said it is "impossible to craft and draft" a detailed climate treaty in "the time that remains" to address climate change.
"That is not possible. But it is also not necessary," he said, "I think what Copenhagen has to achieve is a basic political understanding" on the essential issues of climate change.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark in December and expectations were raised that a possible climate treaty could be signed by both developed and developing nations.
There is a gap between developing and developed countries on how much they should reduce their carbon emissions based on the 1990 level.
Developing countries such as China and India have said that developed countries should offer at least a 40 percent reduction by 2020.
The European Union has promised to cut emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels and by 30 percent if other developed nations follow suit.
The US Congress is debating a bill that would reduce emissions to 6 percent below 1990 levels.
Japan’s incoming Prime Minster, Yukio Hatoyama pledged a 25% reduction.
According to the projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), industrialized nations such as the G8 should reduce 25 percent to 40 percent from the 1990 levels by 2020 if the world intends to control temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius.