Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh has been praised for his role as a bridge-builder on contentious issues at the United Nations climate conference here, which ended with a deal to curb global warming, including a $100 billion fund to help developing countries.

The two-week-long conference closed on Friday with the ‘Cancun Agreement,' which marked some progress for finance, technology, adaptation and transparency, but still is not viewed as a decisive boost for combating climate change.

After talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “Indian Minister Jairam Ramesh has made important contributions at the Cancun conference.”

Mohamed Aslam, Environment Minister of the Maldives, told PTI: “The Minister [Mr. Ramesh] has been instrumental in bridging gaps…he has been reaching out to the AOSIS [Alliance of Small Island States] nations as well as to developed countries.”

The AOSIS nations are the nations most vulnerable to climate change and want developed countries as well as emerging economies, especially China and India, to take on hefty legally binding emission cuts.

‘Compromise' deal

The climate conference reached a “compromise” in the early hours of Saturday to set up a $100 billion ‘Green Fund' to fight global warming, a decision India described as an “important step forward.”

However, there was no agreement on extending the landmark Kyoto Protocol on emissions cuts beyond 2012.

‘A step forward'

“We are very happy with the text,” Mr. Ramesh said earlier. “Cancun represents an important step forward.”

Progress at the conference included a broad agreement on technology-sharing mechanism that will ensure that poor and vulnerable countries are able to access green technologies easily and in a cost-effective manner.

The ‘Green Fund' is expected to mobilise $100 billion per annum by 2020, which will be given to developing countries for adaptation and mitigation purposes.