* Talks agree eight-year extension to protocol
* Puts off decision on increasing aid to 2013
* No major emissions goals have been set at Doha talks
By Alister Doyle and Barbara Lewis
DOHA, Dec 8 Almost 200 nations extended on
Saturday a weakened U.N. plan for fighting global warming until
2020, averting a new setback to two decades of U.N. efforts that
have failed to halt rising world greenhouse gas emissions.
The eight-year extension of the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012
keeps it alive as the sole legally binding plan for combating
global warming. But it was sapped by the withdrawal of Russia,
Japan and Canada, so its signatories now account for only 15
percent of global greenhouse emisions.
"I thank you all for good will and hard work in moving the
process forward," conference president Abdullah bin Hamad
Al-Attiyah said as he banged down his gavel repeatedly on a
package of decisions at the end of marathon talks.
But Moscow's delegate Oleg Shamanov said that Russia, along
with Belarus and Ukraine, opposed the decision to extend the
Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012. Russia wanted less stringent limits
on unused carbon emissions permits, known as hot air.
A package of decisions, known as the Doha Climate Gateway,
would also postpone until 2013 a dispute over demands from
developing nations for more cash to help them cope with global
All sides say the Doha decisions fell far short of
recommendations by scientists for tougher action to try to avert
more heatwaves, sandstorms, floods, droughts and rising sea
The draft deal would extend the Kyoto Protocol for eight
years. It had obliged about 35 industrialised nations to cut
greenhouse gas emissions by an average of at least 5.2 percent
below 1990 levels during the period from 2008 to 2012.
Kyoto would have expired at the end of 2012 without an
extension. The United States never ratified it and its main
backers are the European Union and Australia.
The two-week U.N. meeting in the Qatari capital had been due
to end on Friday but the talks went on into Saturday evening.
World carbon dioxide emissions are set to rise by 2.6
percent this year, and are more than 50 percent higher than in
1990. Recent growth has come mostly from emerging nations, led
by China and India.