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China Says Copenhagen Climate Summit 'Positive'

Climate-change activists were disappointed with the summit
China has welcomed the outcome of the international climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, a day after the meeting received criticism for failing to take stronger action against global warming and for excluding the concerns of smaller, poorer countries.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi is quoted today as saying in a statement that the summit "yielded significant and positive results."

The meeting resulted in what's being called the Copenhagen Accord -- a nonbinding political agreement completed as the summit drew to a close by a small group consisting of leaders of the United States, China, India, Brazil, and South Africa.

The accord includes the goal of seeking to limit the global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius, and also pledges to deliver $30 billion in aid to developing nations over the next three years to help them cope with climate change.

But the accord has been sharply criticized by several South American countries, such as Nicaragua and Venezuela, who said the agreement had not been reached through a proper process involving all nations.

Environmental campaigners and aid agencies described the accord as a failure for not taking tougher action to combat climate change.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the deal as an "essential beginning," but has called for the accord to be made legally binding in negotiations next year.

compiled from agency reports