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Copenhagen deal 'a first step'.

Summary: The UN-approved climate deal reached in Copenhagen has been described by world leaders as a "first step" to tackling global warming.

The UN climate conference in Copenhagen ended on Saturday having approved a deal described by world leaders as a "first step" to tackling global warming. However, it has been criticised by campaigners as a failure.

After another all-night session of wrangling among negotiators and officials, the agreement drawn up by leaders attending the much-anticipated talks was finally approved on Saturday morning, to wide applause in the main conference hall.

The conference decided to "take note" of the accord - and said the document setting out the deal would specify a list of countries which agreed with it, while some nations including Venezuela and Bolivia remained adamant they would not accept it.

The acknowledgement of the accord by the UN conference, of more than 190 countries, means that provisions for finance contained within it to help poor nations fight global warming can become operational.

The deal also includes references to keeping temperature rises to no more than 2C and immediate funds and financeof around 100 billion US dollars a year by 2020 for developing countries.

Hpwever, it has no long-term global targets for emissions cuts or a timetable to turn the agreement into a legally binding treaty - and environmental campaigners and aid agencies say it is 'toothless'.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: "We have sealed the deal. This accord cannot be everything that everyone hoped for, but it is an essential beginning."

Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband insisted the outcome was not a failure: "We recognise there could have been more ambition in parts of this agreement. Therefore, we have got to drive forward as hard as we can towards both a legally binding treaty and that ambition," he said.

Asked if it was a problem that the deal contains no timetable for turning the accord into a legally binding treaty, Mr Miliband said: "I wish there had been a timetable. But what became clear in the negotiations was that developing countries didn't want to sign up to legally binding targets.

"A lot of procedural arguments that were going on were fundamentally about this issue of legally binding targets."

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Dec 23, 2009
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