Bangladesh's climate compensation push a ray of light after dismal Doha | John Vidal

From Global development | The Guardian Wed Dec 12 2012, 07:19:07

Vulnerable countries including Bangladesh played a role in getting agreement at Doha on help for victims of climate change

The dust settles, the delegates have recovered from their marathon talks and the full significance of the Doha climate round can be assessed. Clearly, it was an extraordinarily weak result - no new money was put on the table, no new commitments made to cut emissions and there is no certainty the key 2015 agreement will be any stronger.

But despite little evidence of the spirit of international co-operation, there were important decisions made for developing countries. The most significant and symbolic was extending the Kyoto protocol for a second period. This brought to a close years of attempts, led by the US, to ditch it. Kyoto survives, weaker because Russia, Japan and New Zealand have decided not to join in the second period and Canada has left completely, but important because it remains the only treaty that forces rich countries to cut emissions. The 36 countries still in represent only 15% of emissions - but the principle it enshrines of the rich being legally bound holds.

Finance, as so often, was the biggest disappointment. Britain, France, Germany and a few others pledged $6bn to fill the gap between the imminent end of the "fast start" finance and 2020, when the green climate fund supposedly kicks in, but the reality is that developing countries have little or nothing to help them adapt.

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