Global climate change negotiators have completed their final round of discussions before next month's United Nations convention in South Africa with faint hope of extending the Kyoto Protocol beyond next year.
But while negotiators see no chance for a sweeping deal to control greenhouse gas emissions, they say the talks could yet lay the groundwork for a binding climate deal that could include the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters, China and the United States.
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol, a global pact to curb greenhouse gasses, ends next year.
Kyoto was meant to stem climate change but obliged only developed nations to reduce emissions, reports Reuters.
The United States never signed the deal and developing nations have since become major emitters.
Nations including Russia, Canada and Japan have said they will not sign on for another commitment period when the current one expires.