In a dramatic finish to a U.N. climate conference, world leaders adopted a plan Saturday for negotiating a new global warming pact by 2009, after the United States backed down in a battle over wording supported by developing nations and Europe.
The U.S. stand had drawn loud boos and sharp rebukes — "Lead ... or get out of the way!" one delegate demanded — before Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky reversed her position, clearing the way adoption of the so-called "Bali Roadmap." The sudden reversal was met with rousing applause.
The upcoming two years of talks, which will hammer out a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, could determine for years to come how well the world will cut emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. A year of scientific reports have warned that rising temperatures will cause widespread drought, floods, higher sea levels and worsening storms.
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