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Canada's Minister of Environment John Baird gives a speech during a plenary session at the Moon Palace, where climate talks are taking place, in Cancun December 9, 2010.Henry Romero/Reuters

The verdicts are in, and all parties are calling the Cancun climate talks a success although the meeting concluded with no binding agreement for reducing greenhouse gases.

The NDP's environment critic Linda Duncan arrived in Ottawa early Sunday morning, just hours after the environmental summit had wrapped up, calling the agreement that was reached a "breakthrough."

She told CTV's Question Period that people had come to the summit with "great cynicism" but emerged with a view that progress was made.

A year from now, when the political and environmental worlds come together again in Durban, South Africa, all countries will approve a binding agreement, she predicted.

"Not every country will have to reduce the same amount, but we're all in this together," Ms. Duncan said. "It's a real breakthrough."

And Liberal environment critic Gerard Kennedy, who had also been in Mexico for part of the meetings, said the accord should be "taken seriously," although he was critical of Environment Minister John Baird, saying that Canada was "almost marginalized" at the meetings.

"His [Mr. Baird's]statements sounded almost like an undersecretary from the U.S. We didn't have the full engagement from Canada that I think people were expecting," said Mr. Kennedy. "But there was a sense of relief and a sense of progress."

And, he characterized the accord as "consequential."

The opposition has been critical of the government for having a "part-time" environment minister. Mr. Baird, the Government House leader, was called on to serve as environment minister, a job he has held previously, after Jim Prentice stepped down to go to work for a Bay Street bank this fall.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary secretary for the Environment Minister, Mark Warawa, who also appeared on Question Period, said "huge accomplishments" were made in Cancun.

"A year from now, our hope is that in Durban there will be a new binding international agreement that deals with climate change and reduces greenhouse emissions ... and everyone is involved," he said.