Rather than a cut on 1990 level emissions, current pledges by developed countries are likely to result in a net increase on this baseline once “loopholes” are taken into account.
The pledges to cut emissions by 2020 are made relative to existing and proposed accounting rules that significantly reduce the net level of emission reductions. The true level of environmental performance depends on many factors including whether individual countries elect to use particular loopholes. However, the rules now in force open the way for the current pledges to result in a net increase in emissions over 1990 levels.
Read the 2009 analysis here: Loopholes Negate Pledges for Emission Reductions
Read an updated 2010 analysis here: Copenhagen Pledges and Loopholes