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Global climate talks ground to a halt Monday morning when a large bloc of developing countries complained that rich nations are abandoning the pact that has governed climate policy for more than a decade, though work continued behind the scenes on a new agreement.
The group of developing nations, known as the G-77, accused the United States and other industrialized countries of forsaking the Kyoto Protocol, the climate agreement that imposes emission limits on nearly every developed nation.
Although Kyoto exempts emerging economies from binding cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, the United States and other rich nations want a new climate agreement to apply to major developing nations.
The G-77 countries are pushing back against that approach, saying they do not want to give up the legal treaty now in effect for an uncertain pact could pose less stringent requirements and would not deliver the worldwide emission cuts they seek. "The killing of the Kyoto Protocol, I can say, will mean the killing of Africa," said Mama Konaté, a member of Mali's delegation. "Before accepting that, we should all die first."