UN chief applauds Lima climate deal

UN chief Ban Ki-moon applauded a global climate deal signed in Lima Sunday and urged countries to commit to tough negotiations taking place in Paris next year.

Following marathon talks in Lima, UN members signed a pact to defeat climate change by adopting a format for national pledges to cut Earth-warming greenhouse gases.

They also approved a blueprint to guide negotiations for a climate deal due to be sealed in Paris in December 2015.

"The Secretary General welcomes the outcome of the UN Climate Change Conference," a UN statement said.

Ban said the conclusions of Sunday's agreement, dubbed the Lima Call for Climate Action, "pave the way for the adoption of a universal and meaningful agreement in 2015."

He encouraged countries to commit to Paris negotiations and make good on financial pledges ahead of the 2015 meeting.

Ban "urges all parties... to enter into substantive negotiations on the draft text of the 2015 agreement coming from the conference."

"The secretary general calls on all parties, especially the major economies, to submit their ambitious national commitments well in advance of Paris."

Talks in Lima were scheduled to last for 12 days, but ran 32 hours late after bitter disputes flared among countries over details of the pact.

Ban spent several days in Lima for the conference, where he pressed nations to seize a shrinking opportunity to tame global warming, warning "the window of opportunity is fast narrowing."

The hard-fought agreement Lima Call for Climate Action lays out the blueprint for what is envisioned to be the most ambitious agreement in environmental history.

Due to take effect in 2020, it would for the first time bind all the world's nations into a single arena for curbing heat-trapping carbon gases that drive dangerous climate change.