Before delegates headed home from the conference, the best thing some world leaders could say about the Copenhagen Accord was that it was a “modest success”.
The text points to the scientific view that global temperatures must not rise by more than two degrees celsius if catastrophe is to be avoided and calls for deep cuts in emissions.
Critics point out there is no target for emissions by the year 2050, and before that the goal for 2020 will not be set until next month.
Keeping an eye on whether or not countries are standing by their promises on reducing emissions took up a major chunk of the document. It is being left to emerging economies to monitor their own performance.
But helping poorer countries go green is going to cost. Until 2012, the EU is putting up seven billion euros a year with a further 10 billion coming from Japan and the US.
Until 2020, developed nations hope to amass funds of 70 billion euros a year in green aid.
The deal also recognises the need to cut emissions from deforestation and says the developed world could do more to help.