Copenhagen Delegates Recognize Pact

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 19 (UPI) — U.N. climate change summit delegates in Copenhagen, Denmark, voted Saturday to recognize a non-mandatory pact aimed at reducing greenhouse gases.

After an up-and-down, all-night bargaining session, the summit adopted a resolution that “took note” of the non-binding document, called the Copenhagen Accord, which sets up a system for monitoring and reporting progress toward national pollution-reduction goals and sets a goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050, The New York Times reported.

The adoption was followed by adjournment. But, the newspaper said, the summit’s final day was marked by a bitter struggle between nations that favored the compromise — cobbled together Friday by U.S. President Barack Obama and leaders from Brazil, India, South Africa and China — and a group of counties — including Venezuela, Sudan and Cuba — that loudly objected to the process used to reach it.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the document makes progress on the four benchmarks he had set at a special meeting on climate change in September: a limit on global temperature rise, commitments to cut emissions, steps to halt deforestation and aid for poor countries. He called the pact “an essential beginning.”

Obama said a good agreement is not enough in the long term.

“Going forward we’re going to have to build on the momentum that we established in Copenhagen to ensure that international action to significantly reduce emissions is sustained and sufficient over time,” he said.”At home, that means continuing our efforts to build a clean energy economy that has the potential to create millions of new jobs and new industries.”

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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