African nations, supported by developing countries, have suspended their participation in working groups at the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen.
They accuse the West of trying to kill the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally-binding climate text that exists.
Developed countries, like the EU’s members, say they want to do more on emissions cuts but only if developing countries join them in doing so.
British Energy Minister Ed Miliband told a news conference on Monday:
“Europe wants to move to a 30 percent reduction by 2020 but we need high ambition from others as well and we will be pushing for that on the basis of our willingness to go to 30 percent.”
The lack of progress is fuelling frustration among civilians who have flocked to Copenhagen.
Nearly 1000 people were detained after protests at the weekend and there have been complaints of police heavy-handedness.
There are only five days left of the conference but for the moment divisions are prevailing over agreements.