Nearly 200 nations came together Saturday on a global deal to combat climate change after two weeks of painful negotiation but fell short of what science says is needed to contain dangerous temperature rises.
Rich countries stood accused of failing at the COP26 summit in Glasgow to deliver much-needed finance to vulnerable states at risk of drought, rising seas, fire, and storms.
Britain's COP26 president Alok Sharma rounded up the marathon negotiations telling delegates: "It is now decision time. And the choices you are set to make are vitally important."
But China and India insisted that language on fossil fuels be weakened in the final summit decision text.
As the final deal was clinched, a tearful Sharma said "I apologize for the way this process has unfolded. I am deeply sorry," before banging down his gavel.
Delegates entered the talks charged with keeping the 2015 ParisAgreement goal of limiting temperature rises to 1.5-2C degrees within reach.
They were also tasked with finding the funding for nations most at risk of climate-related droughts, floods, and storms supercharged by rising seas.
Observers said the agreement fell far short of what is needed to avert dangerous warming and help countries adapt or recoup damages from the disasters already unfurling globally.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed the deal, but stressed it was "not enough."
"We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe," he added.
Laurence Tubiana, the architect of the Paris deal, told AFP that "COP has failed to provide immediate assistance for people suffering now."
But a statement from the European Commission said the deal had "kept the Paris targets alive."
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose government hosted the talks, insisted the deal was a "big step forward" even if much more work needed to be done.