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UN climate talks kick off in Durban, with the future of the Kyoto Protocol and funding for poor countries hard hit by climate change at the top of the agenda.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The latest round of UN climate talks began Monday in Durban, with the future of the Kyoto Protocol and funding for poor countries badly affected by climate change at the top of the agenda.
The event is officially called the 17th Conference of Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and delegates from 194 countries will be in South Africa for the two-week summit.
Among the delegates are heads of state, environmentalists and celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and U2 frontman Bono.
But a stormy conference is predicted as countries try to form an agreement that would keep greenhouse gas emissions low enough to maintain a global temperature increase at two degrees Celsius or less.
Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, said new research is “sounding alarm bells for urgent action" on global warming, the South African Press Association reported.
"We are in Durban with one purpose: to find a common solution that will secure a future to generations to come," said Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa's minister of international relations and the chair of the summit.