Leaders’ words: Deal lays foundation for years to come

WORLD leaders yesterday insisted that the climate deal clinched at the UN summit was the best that can be done as they returned home to a lashing from critics.

Newspapers called the summit accord a failure and experts said “urgent” action was now needed.

US President Barack Obama returned to the White House and said “extremely difficult and complex negotiations” had been needed in Copenhagen.

“This breakthrough lays the foundation for international action in the years to come.”

Merkel, who will host a new international meeting in Germany in 2010, hit back at the critics.

“It is a first step toward a new world climate order, nothing more but also nothing less,” she told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

“Those who are only putting Copenhagen down are helping those who want to blockade rather than move forward.”

China, the world’s top polluter, has given the warmest welcome to a summit. Experts say it has benefited from by making fewest concessions.

Even UN chief General Ban Ki-moon admitted the agreement had failed to win global consensus and would disappoint many who demanded stronger action.


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