NEW DELHI, India (AP) -- Rich and poor nations agreed Friday on a compromise declaration on global climate change, unable to adopt a resolution that included a deadline to limit the emission of harmful gases from vehicles and industries.
After a delay of more than eight hours that saw last-ditch efforts to avert the collapse of the U.N.-sponsored climate change talks, environment ministers from 169 countries approved a revised draft of the Delhi Ministerial Declaration.
The conference was held to thrash out final details of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on global warming, expected to take effect early next year after ratification by Russia.
After sustained stonewalling from China, India and other developing countries, the declaration dropped the demands of wealthy nations that developing countries initiate dialogue to make further commitments after the enforcement of the Kyoto Protocol.
Instead, the declaration said: "The parties that have ratified the KP (Kyoto Protocol) strongly urged parties that have not already done so to ratify it in a timely manner."
The declaration recognized Africa as the region suffering the most from the impact of global climate change. It agreed to move forward to curb the emission of 'F' gases, or climate-harming refrigerants. The pact also made the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development mechanism fully operational.
The Kyoto Protocol also calls on about 40 industrialized countries to limit or reduce emissions of greenhouse gases -- primarily carbon dioxide from industry and vehicles -- blamed for raising the Earth's temperature.
The accord assigns each country a target and sets an average 5.2-percent emission reduction from 1990 levels to be achieved by 2012.
So far, 96 countries have ratified the treaty. The United States and Australia have withdrawn, however, claiming the treaty would harm their economies.
The United States faced criticism for not ratifying the protocol.
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