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    Cancun climate deal struck


    by ODN


    More than 190 countries have struck an agreement at the latest round of UN climate talks putting efforts to secure a new international deal to tackle global warming back on track.

    The talks in Cancun, Mexico, are the latest attempt to make progress towards a new global deal on tackling climate change, after last year's meeting in Copenhagen failed amid chaotic scenes, to secure a new legally-binding treaty on cutting emissions, instead delivering only a weak voluntary accord.

    At the end of two weeks of talks in Mexico, government ministers and officials agreed a deal which Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne described as a "serious package" of measures.

    He acknowledged the agreement did not give everybody everything they wanted and would still require work towards a final deal at a meeting next year in Durban, South Africa.

    Environmental campaigners said it threw a lifeline to efforts to get a deal to tackle climate change but there was still much work to do, in particular to close the "gigatonne gap" between the greenhouse emissions cuts countries have pledged and the reductions needed to limit temperature rises to no more than 2C.

    Friends of the Earth's international climate campaigner Asad Rehman described the Cancun agreement as weak and ineffective - but said it gave the world a "small and fragile lifeline".

    And he warned: ""The emissions cuts on the table could still lead to a global temperature increase of up to five degrees which would be catastrophic for hundreds of millions of the world's poorest people."

    The agreement acknowledges the need to keep temperature rises to 2C and brings non-binding emissions cuts pledges made under the voluntary Copenhagen Accord, hammered out in the dying hours of last year's conference, into the UN process.

    Representatives from country after country acknowledged the agreement was not perfect, but that they supported it as progress towards a final deal - although Bolivia hit out at the proposals, likening them to genocide.