UN chief sees political will after climate meeting

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UNITED NATIONS, Sep 25 (Reuters) World leaders showed a ''major political commitment'' to forge a pact on climate change once the Kyoto Protocol runs out, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said after a conference on global warming.

Ban, who organized the one-day event as a forerunner to climate change talks in Bali in December, said the roughly 80 heads of state and government in attendance had given their backing for a new agreement to be made.

''Today I heard a clear call from world leaders for a breakthrough on climate change in Bali,'' he said at the end of the meeting yesterday.

''And I now believe we have a major political commitment to achieving that.'' Kyoto requires 36 industrial nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 5 per cent from 1990 levels by 2012.

Countries hope to have a pact in place by 2009 that will take over when the Kyoto treaty expires, but disagreements over whether to make emissions reduction targets mandatory and how to apply them to developing nations have hampered progress towards and agreement.

Reuters KK VP0632

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