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December 22nd, 2009
12:35 PM ET

Does Obama compromise too much?

President Obama arriving in Copenhagen for the final day of climate change talks.
President Obama arriving in Copenhagen for the final day of climate change talks.

Hamid Dabashi
Special to CNN

When the United States, China, Brazil, India and South Africa struck an agreement in the United Nations' climate change summit in Copenhagen, many other countries were unhappy with the outcome.

Roberta Alenius, a spokesperson for the European Union presidency, initially denied any unanimous consensus, but the EU eventually wound up supporting the accord.

Lumumba Di-Aping, the Sudanese head of the G77 group of developing countries, has objected that the U.S.-backed proposals would be devastating for the poorer countries. "This is an idea, not a deal," Di-Aping is reported to have said. "Sudan will not be a signatory to a deal that destroys Africa."

The defining tone of the summit was resounding discord. Ban Ki-moon, U.N. secretary-general, called it "not everything we hoped for." A number of developing countries, led by Venezuela and Bolivia, did not even support the deal. At the same time, the full body of 193 countries agreed to "take note of the Copenhagen Accord" without accepting it. Even President Obama acknowledged that the agreement was "not sufficient to combat the threat of climate change."

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