Copenhagen: (Agencies: 19/12/2009): The historic UN climate conference in Copenhagen ended on Saturday (19/12/2009) after a 31-hour negotiating marathon, with sharply mixed views on whether its final outcome was a success, a step in the right direction, or a complete failure.
Bitterly divided world leaders did not formally approve a climate deal, instead deciding to "take note" of a political agreement drawn up over night by five major nations.
The final document, the "Copenhagen Agreement" pledges billions of dollars to poor nations to deal with global warming but does not require the world’s major polluters to make deeper cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions.
It is not legally binding.
UN Chief Ban Ki-moon said leaders had achieved "a real deal", but acknowledged it was only the beginning of a process to craft a binding pact to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.
But the outcome was a significant disappointment to those who had anticipated the deal, brokered by US President Obama with China and other nations would be turned into a legally binding treaty.
Instead, the agreement envisions another year of negotiations and leaves myriad details yet to be decided.
Speaking to reporters, the German Chancellor said she had hoped for more to be achieved at the conference. Angela Merkel said she had proposed meeting in Bonn around June of next year to continue discussions.
But Lumumba Di-Aping, the Sudanese ambassador who chairs the bloc of developing countries, called it "extremely flawed," and complained that Obama negotiated the pact in one-on-one meetings and a forum of 25 nations.
The document said carbon emissions should be reduced enough to keep the increase in average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), which is stronger than in any previous declaration accepted by the rich countries.
However, environmental groups called it a meaningless aspiration.
Greenpeace France director Pascal Husting said the deal was "a disaster," lacking substance and was "several steps backward" compared to the Kyoto Protocol.
Outside the conference hall, more than 100 protesters staged a demonstration to voice their anger, some chanting, "Our future is in your hands!"
Some carried signs of Obama with the words "climate shame" pasted on his face.
The two-week, 193-nation conference has been plagued by growing distrust between rich and poor nations.
Each side blamed the other for failing to take ambitious actions to tackle climate change.
At one point, African delegates staged a partial boycott of the talks.