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Post-Kyoto agreement to be signed in Copenhagen in 2009

MOSCOW, December 11 (RIA Novosti) - An agreement replacing the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 will probably be signed in late 2009 in Copenhagen, a participant at a UN conference on climate change in Indonesia said Tuesday.

"Judging by all developments, the new international protocol could be signed in December 2009 in Copenhagen," environmentalist Alexei Kokorin, a World Wildlife Fund observer at the conference, told RIA Novosti on the phone.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference opened in Bali, Indonesia, December 3. About 10,000 delegates from almost 190 countries are aiming to build a new international pact to combat global warming.

The almost two-week-long conference is expected to produce the so called Bali roadmap to a climate change agreement after the Kyoto Protocol, a commitment by developed countries to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions, signed exactly ten years ago, December 11, 1997, expires in 2012.

On the first day Australia's new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ratified the Kyoto protocol, leaving the United States as one of the only major polluters not to have signed the agreement.

The Kyoto Protocol obliges the 35 industrial states that have ratified the document to cut emissions by 5% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012.

Developed and developing countries have been locked in a dispute over who should bear the main burden for carbon emission restrictions.

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