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Delegates from nearly 200 nations have agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol until 2020.
The deal, agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, keeps the protocol alive as the sole legally-binding plan for reducing CO2 emissions.
However Russia, Japan and Canada have withdrawn from the plan, meaning signatories now account for less than 15% of global greenhouse emissions.
The United States has never ratified the original deal, reached in 1997.
"I thank you all for good will and hard work in moving the process forward," conference president Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah said.
Lord Stern, a former government advisor on economics and climate change, tonight said the deal provided a "sensible roadmap" for cutting emissions, but warned the world was "heading into very dangerous territory" if leaders didn't accelerate the plans.
"What we have to do as a world is accelerate, because we’re way behind where we need to be. We’re heading into very dangerous territory if we don’t accelerate," he told Channel 4 News.
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08/12/2012 on Channel 4 News
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
07/03/2014 on PM, BBC Radio 4
07/03/2014 on BBC News