World media highlights disappointment at climate deal

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The Independent Online

The world's media on Saturday highlighted the bitter taste left by the provisional climate change deal struck by the major powers at the UN summit in Copenhagen.

With the wrangling unfinished, editorials spoke of "failure", "disappointment" and face-saving measures by the leaders at the summit with their deal which failed to set targets to cut the carbon emissions blamed for global warming.

"Low targets, goals dropped: Copenhagen ends in failure," said a headline in the online edition of British daily, The Guardian.

"The UN climate summit reached a weak outline of a global agreement last night in Copenhagen, falling far short of what Britain and many poor countries were seeking and leaving months of tough negotiations to come," reported the newspaper.

"The 'historic' climate change deal at the Copenhagen climate summit has descended into chaos after some developing nations rejected the plan for fighting global warming championed by US President Barack Obama," The Daily Telegraph said.

"Many goals unmet," declared a New York Times headline.

"The agreement addresses many of the issues that leaders came here to settle. But it has left many of the participants in the climate talks unhappy, from the Europeans, who now have the only binding carbon control regime in the world, to the delegates from the poorest nations, who objected to being left out of the critical negotiations," it said.

France's left-wing Liberation newspaper lamented that world powers had failed to strike a deal on global warming, yet had been able to act quickly to save banks from the fallout from the global economic crisis over the past year.

"We must make the bitter observation: when it comes to rescuing the banking system, the dialogue has been far more effective and determined. It is clearly easier to save finance than it is to save the planet," the daily wrote.

"Copenhagen will not be remembered as the historic conference that everybody expected. But rather as a symbol of a missed opportunity," the Le Parisien newspaper said.

Similar themes were developed by media around the world.

In Italy, La Stampa newspaper called it "a facade of an accord" an "entente signed at the last minute at the end of a frantic day and aimed at saving face."

"The climate summit ends with a weak accord," headlined the left wing Dutch daily Volkskrant in its online edition. Only the Christian daily, Trouw, called it "a prudent first step to a binding treaty."

In Denmark, the summit host, newspapers said the outcome of the UN summit has confirmed a new world order in which the United States has contend with China's status as a fellow superpower.

"The chaotic climax to the meeting has shown that Washington can no longer determine things and that there is no more global political consensus," the centre-left Politiken daily said, in a story headlined "China confirms its superpower status".

In Poland, the right-leaning newspaper Rzeczpospolita wrote that "hopes have been wasted."

"Disagreement between the two largest emitters of CO2 paralysed the negotiations," it said.