Science & Environment

Reaction to UN climate deal

Reaction to the deal reached by negotiators at UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa, that for the first time would bring all major emitters into international efforts to limit global warming, but which environmentalists say did not go far enough.

Christiana Figueres, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary

I salute the countries who made this agreement. They have all laid aside some cherished objectives of their own to meet a common purpose, a long-term solution to climate change.

Connie Hedegaard, EU climate commissioner

We think that we had the right strategy, we think that it worked. The big thing is that now all big economies, all parties have to commit in the future in a legal way and that's what we came here for.

Chris Huhne, UK energy and climate secretary

This is a great success for European diplomacy. We've managed to bring the major emitters like the US, India and China into a roadmap which will secure an overarching global deal.

Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, head of the Africa group

It's a middle ground, we meet mid-way. Of course we are not completely happy about the outcome, it lacks balance, but we believe it is starting to go into the right direction.

US climate envoy Todd Stern

In the end, it ended up quite well. The [Durban Platform] is the piece that was the matching piece with the Kyoto Protocol. We got the kind of symmetry that we had been focused on since the beginning of the Obama administration. This had all the elements that we were looking for.

Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International

Right now the global climate regime amounts to nothing more than a voluntary deal that's put off for a decade. This could take us over the 2C threshold where we pass from danger to potential catastrophe.

Celine Charveriat, Oxfam

Negotiators have sent a clear message to the world's hungry: 'Let them eat carbon.' Governments must bank the pennies won here in Durban and immediately turn their attention to raising the ambition of their emissions cuts targets and filling the Green Climate Fund. Unless countries ratchet up their emissions cuts urgently, we could still be in store for a 10-year timeout on the action we need to stay under 2C.

Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid

This Durban outcome is a compromise which saves the climate talks but endangers people living in poverty. It is a disastrous, profoundly distressing outcome - the worst I have ever seen from such a process. At a time when scientists are queuing up to warn about terrifying consequences if emissions keep rising, what we have here in Durban is a betrayal of people across the world.

Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Friends of the Earth International

Ordinary people have once again been let down by our governments. Led by the US, developed nations have reneged on their promises, weakened the rules on climate action and strengthened those that allow their corporations to profit from the climate crisis.

Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists

There is some hard bargaining ahead to get a treaty by 2015. It will be particularly tough for the US, which isn't doing its fair share of emissions cuts and scaling up finance. The politics on that aren't very promising given two members of the Republican party are in complete denial.

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