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Angela-Merkel-web(AP) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel is defending the much-criticized outcome of the Copenhagen climate summit as a first step that paves the way for action.

Merkel was quoted Sunday as telling the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that "Copenhagen is a first step toward a new world climate order - no more, but also no less."

The climate conference ended Saturday with only a nonbinding "Copenhagen Accord" that was short on concrete steps against global warming but signaled a new start for rich-poor cooperation on climate change.

Merkel said that "anyone who just badmouths Copenhagen now is engaging in the business of those who are applying the brakes rather than moving forward."

She added that the Copenhagen accord "must now be built upon."

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