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Nations Sign up to Climate Deal One-by-one

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One day after the January 31 deadline, 67 countries have signed the United Nations climate agreement aiming to reduce global carbon emissions and fund adaptation measures in developing countries, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) on Monday.

So far, the signatories, which include China, the United States and the EU, make up 77.3 percent of global emissions, said the UCS, a science-based nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts, the United States.

The Copenhagen Accord, which was concluded in December, is not legally binding but aims to provide US$30 billion for poor countries to adapt to climate change from 2010 to 2012, and US$100 billion a year by 2020.

January's deadline is not mandatory, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, but it does signal an indication of whether the international community is willing to cooperate on a fair, ambitious and binding agreement to solve the climate crisis.

China has agreed to reduce its carbon emissions by 40 percent to 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. The United States has pledged to cut its emissions by about 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. And, the EU has said it will reduce its carbon emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

The world was unable to agree to a legally binding deal in Copenhagen but the UNFCCC has expressed its hope that the next scheduled ministerial meeting at the end of the year in Mexico will prove more fruitful.

(Xinhua News Agency February 2, 2010)

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