Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Sunday, 20 December 2009

China and Indonesia welcome Copenhagen summit deal

A power plant as someone pushes a pram in Copenhagen, on 19 December 2009
After two weeks of frantic talks, the 193-nation summit ended on Saturday

Asian giants China and Indonesia have hailed the Copenhagen UN climate summit outcome, despite its cool reception from aid agencies and campaigners.

Beijing's foreign minister said it was a new beginning, and Indonesia's leader said he was pleased with the result.

Earlier, US President Barack Obama defended the accord he helped broker with China and other main powers.

The non-binding pact, called the Copenhagen Accord, was not adopted by consensus at the summit in Denmark.

Instead, after two weeks of frantic negotiations, the 193-nation conference ended on Saturday with delegates merely taking note of the deal.

BBC environment correspondent Richard Black says the accord looks unlikely to contain temperature rises to within the 2C (3.6F) threshold that UN scientists say is needed to avert serious climate change.

Copenhagen is not a destination but a new beginning
Yang Jiechi
China's Foreign Minister

It includes a recognition to limit temperature rises to less than 2C and promises to deliver $30bn (£18.5bn) of aid for developing nations over the next three years.

The agreement outlines a goal of providing $100bn a year by 2020 to help poor countries cope with the impacts of climate change.

It also includes a method for monitoring and verifying some efforts undertaken in developing countries to curb emissions. The US had insisted that China dropped its resistance to this measure.

'Make it binding'

China's Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi, praised the summit in a statement which said: "Developing and developed countries are very different in their historical emissions responsibilities and current emissions levels, and in their basic national characteristics and development stages.

"Therefore, they should shoulder different responsibilities and obligations in fighting climate change."

Protest in Copenhagen on 19 December 2009
The accord was denounced by campaigners and some delegates

"The Copenhagen conference is not a destination but a new beginning," he added.

His upbeat note was echoed by Indonesia, ranked the world's third-largest polluter after the US and China, if the effects of deforestation are taken into account.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in a statement on his website: "Indonesia is pleased, as [we have] taken a wholehearted stance to save our Earth, to save the children in our country," reports AFP news agency.

Environmental campaigners and aid agencies have branded the deal a toothless failure.

But the head of the Nobel-winning UN panel of climate scientists said on Sunday the outcome of the summit was a start, though he urged countries to make it binding.

Hopes for Mexico

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told India's NDTV news channel: "We will have to build on it.

"We will have to make sure it moves quickly towards the status of a legally binding agreement and therefore I think the task for the global community is cut out."

Graphic of global warming projection (Image: BBC)

Germany will host the next climate change conference in six months in Bonn, to follow up the work of the Copenhagen summit.

The final outcome is supposed to be sealed at a conference in Mexico City at the end of 2010.

President Obama defended the deal after arriving back in Washington on Saturday, describing it as "the foundation for international action in the years to come".

The Copenhagen Accord is based on a proposal tabled on Friday by a US-led group of five nations - including China, India, Brazil and South Africa.

It was lambasted by some delegations when put to a full session of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at the summit.

A few developing countries said it was a cosy backroom deal between rich nations that violated UN democracy and would condemn the world to disastrous climate change.

Before the summit, China for the first time offered to limit its greenhouse gas output.

It pledged to reduce its carbon intensity - use of fossil fuels per unit of economic output - by up to 45%, although critics said this would not necessarily lead to any overall cut in its emissions.

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES Copenhagen ends, finger-pointing begins - 22 hrs ago
Philadelphia Inquirer China praises agreement reached in Copenhagen - 22 hrs ago
SINA Climate deal falls short - 30 hrs ago
Miami Herald China: Climate talks yielded 'positive' results - 38 hrs ago
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