The UN climate conference was threatened with collapse Saturday after a small group of nations blocked the adoption of a political accord brokered by President Barack Obama with China, South Africa, Brazil and India.

Associated Press19/12/2009 10:50
Several developing countries, including Bolivia, Cuba, Sudan and Venezuela, bitterly protested the deal and said it is unacceptable because it lacks specific targets for reducing carbon emissions. Decisions are made by consensus in UN climate negotiations.

After failing to resolve the impasse during an all-night session, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced a break for consultations with UN officials.
Obama appeared to have salvaged the faltering talks Friday when he declared a “breakthrough” with China, India, Brazil and South Africa. But the three-page document they agreed on ran into trouble in the plenary where some delegates denounced it because it was nonbinding and set no overall target for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
Sudan’s delegate, Lumumba Di-Aping, said it would condemn Africa to widespread deaths from global warming and compared it to Nazis sending “6 million people into furnaces” in the Holocaust. The African Union, however, backed the deal and his statement was denounced by other delegations.

British Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said the UN faced “a moment of profound crisis” if it did not approve the deal.

Obama’s day of hectic diplomacy produced a document promising 30 billion dollars in emergency aid in the next three years and a goal of channeling 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to developing countries with no guarantees.
The emerging outcome was a disappointment to those who had anticipated the Copenhagen Accord would be turned into a legally binding treaty. Instead, it envisions another year of negotiations and leaves myriad details yet to be decided.

It includes a method for verifying reductions of heat-trapping gases — a key demand by Washington, because China has resisted international efforts to monitor its actions.

It requires industrial countries to list their individual targets and developing countries to list the actions they will take to cut global warming pollution by specific amounts. Obama called that an “unprecedented breakthrough.”

If the countries had waited to reach a full, binding agreement, “then we wouldn’t make any progress,” Obama said. In that case, he said, “there might be such frustration and cynicism that rather than taking one step forward, we ended up taking two steps back.”

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said the deal would represent “a major step forward.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a leading proponent of strong action to confront global warming, gave the Copenhagen Accord grudging acceptance, but said she had “mixed feelings” about the outcome and called it only a first step.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the deal was “clearly below” the European Union’s goal.
“I will not hide my disappointment,” he said.

But British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was positive, saying “a year ago nobody thought this sort of agreement was possible.”

The document said carbon emissions should be reduced enough to keep the increase in average global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial levels.

Obama had planned to spend only about nine hours in Copenhagen as the summit wrapped up. But, as an agreement appeared within reach, he extended his stay by more than six hours to attend a series of meetings aimed at brokering a deal.