CANCÚN, Mexico -- One thing is certain about the COP 16 climate talks in Cancún, Mexico: The summit was not the disaster of last year's affair in Copenhagen. Though binding agreements were never on the table, even critical observers such as Global Witness, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace expressed measured optimism as the conference came to a close at 4 a.m. Saturday morning.
"We hope countries can go back from [Cancún] with momentum to take national action, and with a sense of renewed purpose," said Tara Rao of WWF.
Rao nevertheless cautioned that the final agreement was far from perfect. While agreeing with conference organizers and Mexican President Felipe Calderón that sincere progress had been made, she noted that a lot of work outside the conference remains.