A climate change deal has been reached. Well, “deal” might be too strong a word. But a “meaningful agreement” to address global warming was reached on Friday by U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and others. A U.S. administration official describes the move as “not sufficient to combat the threat of climate change but…an important first step.” As part of the agreement, countries will clearly outline the actions they will take to reduce carbon emissions. There will also be a scheme set up to help developing countries pay for their environmental efforts. Still, few details about how these national commitments will be verified are available. The issue has been a sticking point throughout the Copenhagen talks, specifically between the U.S. and China. Ambitious plans to to make a legally-binding pact seem also to have been dashed. “It is now clear there won’t be a comprehensive accord,” said Italy’s Environment Minister. “There will be a text that refers to next year for a comprehensive agreement.” The draft agreement that was passed around on Friday discusses aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2050 (compared with 1990 levels).
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