Climate talks end with modest steps
The world's governments agreed on Saturday to modest steps to combat climate change and to give more money to poor countries, but they put off until next year tough decisions on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The deal includes a Green Climate Fund that would give $100 billion a year in aid to poor nations by 2020, measures to protect tropical forests and ways to share clean energy technologies.
Ending a marathon session of talks in the Mexican beach resort of Cancun, almost 200 countries also set a target of limiting a rise in average world temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) over pre-industrial times.
But there was no major progress on how to extend the Kyoto Protocol, which obliges almost 40 rich nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The failure to resolve the central problem of emissions dismayed environmental groups. It was also unclear how the $100 billion a year for the Green Climate Fund will be raised.
The first round of Kyoto expires in 2012, it does not include China and the United States -- the world's two biggest emitters -- and there is no consensus over whether developing countries should have binding targets to cut emissions or whether rich countries have more to do first.
The main success in Cancun after two weeks of talks was simply preventing the collapse of climate change negotiations, promoting support for a shift to low carbon economies and rebuilding trust between rich and poor countries on the challenges of global warming.
Photo shows activists of Environment Greenpeace performing next to a giant life ring, during talks on climate change, in Cancun beach December 10, 2010. Credit: REUTERS/Henry Romero
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