28 November 2005 -- Ten thousand delegates from 189 countries have gathered in Montreal, Canada, for a major UN climate conference, which opens later today.
The 12-day conference will be the first UN climate talks since the Kyoto Protocol on cutting greenhouse gases came into effect earlier this year. The limits agreed in Kyoto are due to expire in 2012 and environmental activists hope the Montreal talks will be the launching pad for a post-2012 agreement on cutting emissions even further.
Under Kyoto, most industrialized countries have agreed to cut their carbon emissions by 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.
But with industrialized countries such as the United States and Australia refusing to sign up to the original Kyoto limits and developing giants such as India and China saying they need to focus on economic growth, observers say any new environmental deal will be hard to reach.