Delegates at the Durban climate conference struck a deal that could lead to a new global climate treaty.
The "road map" deal agreed upon Sunday commits all countries to negotiate a climate agreement "with legal force" by 2015, which would come into force in 2020. The deal also extended the current Kyoto Protocol to 2017 and set out the format of a fund to help poor countries tackle climate change.
The EU had originally wanted the stronger wording of a "legally binding" commitment, but the text was watered down by India and China, who objected to what they called unfair pressure. Russia is currently the only BRIC nation committed to cutting emissions under Annex 1 of the Kyoto Protocol.