At the Cancun climate change summit, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told leaders that any deal was better than than holding out for a perfect agreement.
He was trying to fill the chasm between rich and poor nations who remain deadlocked on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
“We do not need final agreement on all the issues, but we do need progress on all the fronts. We cannot let ‘the perfect’ be the enemy of ‘the good’,” Ban said.
The summit is trying to arrive at a package that includes a fund to help developing nations absorb the costs of eco-friendly measures; putting the brakes on deforestation and finding ways to give poorer countries better access to technologies like wind and solar power that have been patented by richer nations.
Some nations, particularly Bolivia, do not believe that is enough and want radical action on emissions worldwide.
But Ban repeatedly stressed that a deal would only come if leaders lowered their ambitions.
A protest outside the summit compound expressed frustration at the slow pace of progress.
Demonstrators tried to symbolically ‘stamp out’ the talks with a giant inflatable hammer sent by a German activist group, saying the summit is futile because developed nations are incapable of finding effective solutions.