Hundreds of activists had gathered in
Bali for the summit [EPA]
A list of the main points agreed at the United Nations summit on climate change in Bali, Indonesia, after the US made a dramatic U-turn over commitments from developing countries.

1. Two years of talks

Negotiators at the summit agreed to two further years of talks to develop a new climate deal to succeed the Kyoto protocol (currently the main deal in place to combat climate change until 2012).

The first meeting will be held by April 2008 and the process will end with the adoption of a new treaty in Copenhagen towards the end of 2009.

2. Emissions

The Bali agreement set a global aim for "deep cuts in global emissions" to avoid dangerous climate change, but no firm targets were set.

The final text also distinguished between rich and poor countries, calling on developed nations to consider "quantified" emissions cuts and developing countries to consider "mitigation actions".

3. Adaptation fund

The summit agreed to launch a UN fund to help poor nations cope with damage from climate change such as droughts or rising seas.

It will be funded by a levy of two per cent on projects under Kyoto's carbon-market innovation, the Clean Development Mechanism, which permits industrialised nations with commitments to greenhouse gas reductions to invest in projects that reduce emissions in developing countries as an alternative to more expensive emission reductions in their own.

The Adaptation Fund now comprises only about $36m, but could rise to $5bn a year by 2030 if investments in green technology in developing nations improve.

The accord, enabling the fund to start in 2008, splits responsibility between the Global Environment Facility, which funds clean energy projects, and the World Bank. The fund would have a 16-member board with strong representation from developing nations.

4. Preventing deforestation

The agreement includes possible financial support to halt deforestation and forest degradation, which account for roughly one fifth of global greenhouse-gas emissions in the world at present.

 

5. Carbon pollution

 

The conference took steps for setting up mechanisms to encourage the transfer of cleaner technology to countries to help them reduce or avoid carbon pollution.

 

However, it has reportedly postponed discussions of proposals to test technology which captures and buries the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, emitted from power plants that burn fossil fuels.

 

Some countries want this so-called "carbon capture and storage" to qualify for carbon offsets for slowing global warming.

 

6. Technology

 

The final draft called for more financial resources and investment for developing countries on adapting to climate change. 

 

Technology transfer is a central demand of developing nations who argue that they should not have to sacrifice growth to fight global warming, but cannot afford the clean technologies that would allow them to expand their economies while curbing emissions.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies