UPDATE 7-New U.N. climate deal struck, critics say gains modest

Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:56pm GMT

(Adds details)

* U.N. climate talks agree deal on global warming

* Vulnerable states say accords leave them vulnerable

* Number of key issues deferred until 2012

By Nina Chestney and Jon Herskovitz

DURBAN, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Countries from around the globe agreed on Sunday to forge a new deal forcing all the biggest polluters for the first time to limit greenhouse gas emissions, but critics said the plan was too timid to slow global warming.

A package of accords agreed after marathon U.N. talks in South Africa extended the 1997 Kyoto Protocol - the only global pact enforcing carbon cuts - allowing five more years to finalise a wider pact which has so far eluded negotiators.

Kyoto's first phase - due to expire at the end of next year but now extended until 2017 - imposed limits only on developed countries, not emerging giants like China and India. The United States never ratified it.

Those three countries and the EU held a last-ditch huddle in the conference centre before finally agreeing to wording that commits them to a pact with legal force, although exactly what form it will take was left vague.   Continued...

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