The crucial negotiations in Durban closed after running nearly 36 hours beyond their schedule, amid criticism by many delegates who felt the host government lacked urgency and strategy. As per the agreement reached at the 194-party conference, the countries agreed to start negotiations on a new pact that would put all nations under the same legal regime that would come in force by 2020.
The pact was described by the chair as "balanced". There was applause in the main conference hall when South Africa's International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, brought down the long-awaited final gavel, BBC reported. Talks on a new legal deal covering all countries will begin next year and end by 2015, coming into effect by 2020.
Management of a fund for climate aid to poor countries has also been agreed, though how to raise the money has not. Under the deal, the European Union will place its current emission-cutting pledges inside the legally-binding Kyoto Protocol. The decision was delayed due to a dispute between the EU and India over the precise wording of the "roadmap" for a new global deal.