UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that a “deal has been reached” that could be the framework for a binding global climate change treaty.
“Finally we sealed the deal and it is a real deal. Bringing world leaders to the table paid off,” CNN quoted Ban as saying on Saturday.
“The Copenhagen Accord may not be everything that everyone hoped for but this decision of the conference of parties is a beginning, an essential beginning,” he added.
Following an all-night session, negotiators from 193 countries reached consensus on supporting a deal brokered on Friday by US President Barack Obama and the leaders of China, India, South Africa, and Brazil.
The five-party agreement — three pages of broad brushstrokes — was criticized by the industrialized nations of Europe and bitterly denounced by some developing nations of Africa and Asia.
Still, the gathered world leaders reluctantly agreed to continue the global effort to limit the effects of human-caused carbon emissions on the world’s climate.
Key components of the core five-nation deal call for keeping temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2050; creating a $100 billion-per-year fund by 2020 to help poor nations deal with the effects of climate change; and establishing some means of verifying if nations are doing their part to hold down carbon emissions.
“The deal is backed by money and the means to deliver it. Up to $30 billion has been pledged for adaptations and mitigation,” Ban said.