Worst-hit Bangladesh 'pleased' with climate deal

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 20, 2009 07:00 hrs

The prime minister of Bangladesh, one of the nations worst-hit by global warming, said she was satisfied with the Copenhagen summit's outcome, and hoped rows over thorny issues would be ironed out soon.

"I am pleased to say that we have been successful in arriving at a reasonable conclusion," Sheikh Hasina said, while speaking at Lund University in Denmark on Saturday, hours after the world leaders hammered out a deal.

"An agreement has been agreed upon taking in most of all our concerns. There are certain areas that would be finalised in the coming days," she said, according to the full script of her speech released in Dhaka on Sunday.

The Copenhagen Accord, passed Saturday after two weeks of frantic negotiations, was strongly condemned as a back-door deal that violated UN democracy, excluded the poor and doomed the world to disastrous climate change.

The agreement was reached at the last minute by a small group consisting of leaders of the United States, China, India, Brazil, South Africa and major European nations, after it became clear the summit was in danger of failing.

It set a commitment to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), but did not spell out the important stepping stones -- global emissions targets for 2020 or 2050 -- for getting there.

Nor did it identify a year by which emissions should peak, and pledges were made voluntarily and without tough compliance provisions.

Hasina, who led a strong Dhaka delegation to the Danish capital, told the 194-nation summit that although Bangladesh's greenhouse gas contribution was negligible, it was one of its worst victims.

She appealed to the wealthiest countries to cut carbon emissions, which are blamed for climate change, by 45 percent of 1990 levels by 2020, exceeding the pledges made by any of them.

On the summit's sideline, a charity called Germanwatch published a climate-risk study based on data from insurance giant Munich Re, saying Bangladesh was the country most severely affected by extreme weather events from 1990 to 2008.