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The annual climate change summit that ended last week (9 December) in Montreal, Canada, paved the way for cooperation between developing and industrialised nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A considerable breakthrough was made at the very last minute, when the United States agreed to consider a dialogue on future strategies. The United States has not signed the Kyoto Protocol and is not obliged to discuss binding targets for reducing emissions.

In addition, several countries, led by Papua New Guinea, said they want to discuss the use of financial incentives to avoid deforestation. China said it would double its use of renewable energy by 2020.

Some believe this type of initiative could lead to non-binding targets for reducing emissions in the developing world. If China exceeds its renewable energy goal, it could receive carbon credits to trade on the carbon trading market.

“These are the kind of innovative things that we now have a negotiating space for countries to put on the table,” says Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington DC.

Link to full article in Nature