Doha: After desperate attempts by the host country Qatar to save the talks, the UN conference on climate change on Saturday agreed to extend the life of the Kyoto Protocol, which controls the greenhouse gas emissions of rich countries, through 2020.
As the talks went into an extra day and the President of the Conference of the Parties made a passionate plea to strike some deal before they pack up, nearly 200 participating countries agreed to keep the Kyoto Protocol alive for the next eight years. The historic pact, which was agreed to by countries in 1997, expires this year-end.
However, the new agreement only covers developed nations whose share of world greenhouse gas emissions is less than 15 per cent. The protocol locks in only developed nations, excluding major developing polluters such as China and India, as well as the US which refuses to ratify it. The protocol got extension with the EU, Australia, Switzerland and eight other industrialised nations signing up for binding emission cuts by 2020.
Conference Chairman Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, who "begged" to the countries to offer something out of the conference, termed the deal as the Doha Climate Gateway. The deal also includes agreement to scale up funding to help poor countries deal with global warming and convert to planet-friendlier energy sources.
The 12-day meeting in Doha also aimed to adopt in 2015 a wider treaty that would apply to all countries and eventually replace the Kyoto Protocol.