Deal Reached at Climate Conference

    European Union (EU) Commissioner Connie Hedegaard (L) and Polish Environment Minster and roating President of the EU Marcin Korolec gesture at each other during the closing press conference on the final day of negotiations of the COP17 Climate Change Conference at  International Convention Centre in Durban on on December 11, 2011.  Agreement was reached to extend the Kyoto Protocol    AFP PHOTO / RAJESH JANTILAL (Photo credit should read RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP/Getty Images)

    RAJESH JANTILAL / Getty Images

    A hard-fought deal has been reached Sunday at the United Nations climate conference in Durban, South Africa, aimed at setting up an accord that would continue to legally bind countries to carry out emission pledges that they make. Currently, under the Kyoto Protocol, only industrialized countries are bound to cut emissions, but that agreement expires next year. Under the new accord, that commitment would be extended for at least another five years. The U.S. was a reluctant supporter of the proposed Durban Platform. Environmentalists say the conference avoided a train wreck by at least agreeing to a deal, but leaders failed to address deeper cuts in carbon emissions.

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