London: British economist and I G Patel Professor of Economics and Government, Chair of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics (LSE), Lord Nicholas Stern of Brentford has said that the "disappointing" outcome of December''s climate summit was largely down to "arrogance" on the part of rich countries.
The economist told BBC News that the US and EU nations had not understood well enough the concerns of poorer nations.
Lord Stern said the failure of the Copenhagen talks was largely down to rich nations'' failure to understand developing world positions and concerns.
"[There was] less arrogance than in previous years - we have, I think, moved beyond the G8 world to the G20 world where more countries are involved - but [there was] still arrogance and it could have been much better handled by the rich countries," he said.
Seventy-three countries have now signed up to the non-binding Copenhagen Accord, the summit''s outcome document.
The weak nature of the document led many to condemn the summit as a failure; but Lord Stern said that view was mistaken.
"The fact of Copenhagen and the setting of the deadline two years previously at Bali did concentrate minds, and it did lead... to quite specific plans from countries that hadn''t set them out before," he said.
"So this process has itself been a key part of countries stating what their intentions on emissions reductions are - countries that had not stated them before, including China and the US.
"So that was a product of the UNFCCC (UN climate convention) process that we should respect."
Lord Stern said that the rich countries could have handled it better.
Lord Stern is a member of the group set up by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to advise on how to raise 100 billion dollars per year by 2020 using various "innovative mechanisms" that could include taxes on international aviation and banking transactions.
But the immediate objective, he suggested, was to enact the short-term promise of providing 30 billion dollar over the period 2010-12 from the public purses of western nations.
First Published: Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 13:23