Backlash over Copenhagen begins

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Just days after countries agreed to a last minute agreement at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, accusations are beginning to fly over who was responsible for what many consider a poor agreement.

Last Friday the White House said that world leaders had reached a meaningful agreement that would pave the way towards multi-laterally combatting global climate change.

While not binding, countries noted the accord and emerged with a declaration of several key points. Leaders and representatives of key nations are now coming forward to pan not only the agreement, but the process itself.

 South African negotiators, who participated in the drafting of the final agreement, nonetheless attacked it as not acceptable.

Process is important, since it determines outcomes, but some ill-restrained interventions combined with poor decisions by those guiding the process meant that process problems caused the loss of three days - precious time indeed, South African negotiator Joanne Yawitch said.

Specific blame is increasingly moving towards two of the world's largest emitters, China and the US and their inability to agree on fixed targets.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is criticizing the United States for failing to commit to concrete carbon-emissions reductions. European leaders are following Brazil's lead, adding China to its list also.

Coming with a plan for financing nearly $10 billion to the developing world and long-term carbon reduction targets, most of the EU bloc's plans have now been sidelined.

Europe never lost its aim, never, never came to splits or different positions, but of course this was mainly about other countries really (being) unwilling, and especially the United States and China, Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren told a news briefing on Tuesday.

British climate secretary Ed Miliband accused China of having hijacked the proceedings for its own goals, in a letter written to the Guardian on Sunday.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman responded that Miliband's accusations were just a way to shirk responsibilities that should be assumed towards developing countries.

At least one minister seemed happy with how the talks turned out. Indian environment minister Jairam Ramesh told parliament that India had been able to resist international pressure to agree to binding emissions cuts.

Full IBT Coverage of Copenhagen

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