Copenhagen deal passed amid condemnation, disappointment

COPENHAGEN, December 19, 2009 (AFP) – A UN conference on Saturday rammed through a battle plan against climate change forged by US President Barack Obama and other top leaders, sidelining smaller states which lashed the deal as a betrayal. After toxic exchanges through the night, the summit chair forced through a deal using a procedural tool that effectively dropped all obstacles to the Copenhagen Accord.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon admitted that the agreement had failed to win global consensus and would disappointment many looking for stronger action against climate change.

But he voiced relief it had not been strangled at birth. “It may not be everything we hoped for, but this decision of the Conference of Parties is an essential beginning,” he said.

“Many will say that it lacks ambition,” Ban said. “Nonetheless, you have achieved much.”

Ed Miliband, Britain’s climate minister, said it was “an important start”.

“This is a very significant moment because it indicates developed and developing countries are both signing up to the notion that they should say what they are going to do in terms of cutting carbon emissions,” he told Sky television.

Obama earlier called the accord an “unprecedented b