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Davey hails climate talks agreement

A last-ditch compromise at climate change talks was hailed as an important move towards a global deal by Energy Secretary Ed Davey - but damned as a step backwards in protecting poor countries from catastrophe by environmentalists.

Late-night wrangling between United Nations members in Lima secured agreement between developing and rich nations on a framework for making firm pledges to cut pollution at a summit in Paris next year.

Peru's environment minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal conceded that even after two extra days of talks, the final text was "not perfect" as scientists and green groups warned it weakened controls.

Mr Davey hailed it as "an agreement that unites all nations, unlocking the door to the world's first global climate deal in Paris next year.

"The talks were tough but the Lima Call for Climate Action shows a will and commitment to respond to the public demand to tackle climate change.

"I am proud the UK has been leading the way - by our laws on low carbon energy and climate, by successfully championing ambitious targets to cut emissions in Europe and with our central role here in Lima.

"The next 12 months will be critical and the UK's leadership will be needed more than ever in the difficult negotiations ahead - but we have to succeed because the threat to our children's future is so serious."

But Friends of the Earth's international climate campaigner Asad Rehman said: "The only thing these talks have achieved is to reduce the chances of a fair and effective agreement to tackle climate change in Paris next year.

"Once again poorer nations have been bullied by the industrialised world into accepting an outcome which leaves many of their citizens facing the grim prospect of catastrophic climate change.

"We have the ingenuity and resources to build the low carbon future we so urgently need - but we still lack the political will.

"With the world speeding towards catastrophic climate change, wealthy industrialised nations who have contributed most to our polluted atmosphere must take the lead in tackling this threat.

"The next 12 months are crucial - failure to act will have a devastating impact on us all."

Friends of the Earth wants to see w ealthy industrialised nations pledge bigger cuts in their emissions by 2020, provide more financial and technological help to poorer nations to tackle the effects of and adapt to climate change and push a " global renewable energy transformation".

Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint told the Murnaghan programme on Sky News: "What is really positive is that for the first time we have got the developed countries and the developing countries on the same page and they have all agreed that they all need to reduce their carbon emissions.

"The fact that Lima has come to the point where they are all on the same page - and crucially in all of this China and the US are on the same page - that does indicate that as we move towards Paris next year there is everything, in a better way, to play for."

Philippe Joubert, c hairman of The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group - which brings together major European companies - said: "Lima has kept the road to Paris open and the introduction of a target for net zero emissions and further commitments on finance are good signs, but political leaders have got to pick up speed to reach the visionary climate agreement we need.

"A bold international agreement in 2015, coupled with stable national policy frameworks and a credible carbon price, are essential for boosting business investment in scalable low-carbon solutions.

"This is a vital deal and effective action is already overdue. Countries dragging their heels must show higher ambitions by March."

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