Global warming pact set for 2009 after US backs down

World climate negotiators set a 2009 deadline Saturday for a landmark treaty to fight global warming after two weeks of intense haggling led to a climbdown by an isolated United States.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who flew to the Indonesian island of Bali for a late appeal for flexibility, praised the deal as a “pivotal first step” to confront climate change, “the defining challenge of our time.”

Following gruelling all-night talks, the conference of 190 nations finally launched a process to negotiate a new treaty for when the UN Kyoto Protocol’s commitments expire in 2012.

AFP: Global warming pact set for 2009 after US backs down.

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