MONTREAL - More than 150 nations agreed Saturday to launch formal talks on mandatory post-2012 reductions in greenhouse gases — talks that will exclude an unwilling United States.

For its part the Bush administration, which rejects the emissions cutbacks of the current Kyoto Protocol, accepted only a watered-down proposal to enter an exploratory global "dialogue" on future steps to combat climate change. That proposal specifically rules out "negotiations leading to new commitments."


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