Key states have reached what they call a meaningful agreement at the Copenhagen climate summit. Five nations, including China and the US, reached a deal on a number of issues, such as a recognition to limit temperatures rises to less than 2C.
US President Barack Obama said it would be a foundation for global action but there was much further to go. However, the deal could be rejected as a number of nations were reported to be unhappy with the contents.
Observers called the achievement modest and questioned how it fitted into the overall deal being negotiated.
President Obama said the US, China, Brazil, India and South Africa had agreed to set a mitigation target to limit warming to no more than 2C and, importantly, to take action to meet this objective.
He added: We are confident that we are moving in the direction of a significant accord.
The meeting has had a positive result, everyone should be happy, said Xie Zhenhua, the head of China's delegation.
After negotiations both sides have managed to preserve their bottom line. For the Chinese, this was our sovereignty and our national interest.
The five-nation brokered deal promised to deliver $30bn of aid for developing nations over the next three years, and outlined a goal of providing $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poor countries cope with the impacts of climate change.
The agreement also included a method for verifying industrialised nations' reduction of emissions. The US had insisted that China dropped its resistance to this measure.
However, the emerging deal - which needs to be accepted by all of the 193 nations at the talks - received a mixed reaction.
Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, speaking on behalf of the G77-China group of nations, reacted angrily to the developments, saying that a deal had been done behind their backs.
Gross violations have been committed today - against the poor, against traditions of transparency and participation on an equal footing by all nations, and against common sense, he said. But he stopped short of saying G77 nations would oppose any deal.
I will not hide my disappointment regarding the non-binding nature of the agreement here, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters.
In that respect the document falls far short of our expectations.
A number of nations are reportedly not willing to accept the latest draft of the document, known as the Copenhagen Accord.
The two-week summit had been deadlocked as world leaders had struggled to hammer out a deal. The text we have is not perfect, said French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
But he added: If we had no deal, that would mean that two countries as important as India and China would be freed from any type of contract.
The United States, which is not in Kyoto, would be free of any type of contract. That's why a contract is absolutely vital.
Jo Leinen, chairman of the European Parliament's environment committee, described the document as a disappointment and below our expectations.
It's behind on emission targets, behind on commitment to verification and monitoring, he said.
A number of leaders have now left the Danish capital, including the US president and Brazil's President Lula da Silva.
Reacting to the Copenhagen deal, John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: The city of Copenhagen is a crime scene tonight, with the guilty men and women fleeing to the airport. There are no targets for carbon cuts and no agreement on a legally binding treaty, he observed.
It is now evident that beating global warming will require a radically different model of politics than the one on display here in Copenhagen.”