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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed a US-backed climate deal in Copenhagen as an «essential beginning».

But he said the accord, reached with key nations including China and Brazil, must be made legally binding next year


The accord includes a recognition to limit temperature rises to less than 2C and promises to deliver $30bn (£18.5bn) of aid for developing nations over the next three years


The agreement also includes a method for verifying industrialised nations’ reduction of emissions. The US had insisted that China dropped its resistance to this measure


US President Barack Obama described negotiations as «extremely difficult and complex», but said they had laid «the foundation for international action in the years to come».

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