Dismantling the “Berlin Wall of climate change”—the idea that rich nations alone should lead the fight against global warming—was the big breakthrough at the UN climate change conference in Bali, reports Time. It made it possible for the US, after a bruising confrontation and near-collapse of the talks, to finally endorse the agreement, ending nearly a decade of opposition to environmental responsibility.
The deal, which lays out a roadmap for talks leading to a binding pact by 2009, holds developed and developing economies, most notably China and India, accountable for carbon emissions. It also put deforestation into the mix, another change from the Kyoto Protocol. But it contains no specific targets for emissions cuts, and more incentives than penalties, leading environmentalists to call it a "weak deal."