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The 17th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP17) opened in Durban, South Africa, on Monday, with 195 countries taking part. The focus of discussions is on what to do after the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the only binding climate agreement at present, expires at the end of 2012.

The treaty imposes greenhouse gas emission cuts on developed countries, with the commitment period set from 2008 to 2012, among other provisions.

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