"The U.N.'s climate agency has for the first time detailed contingency options if the world cannot agree a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, whose present round expires in 2012 with no new deal in sight.
The document reflects the stuttering pace of U.N. talks to extend or replace the Kyoto pact and disappointment at the outcome of a summit in Copenhagen last December.
Countries which are party to the Kyoto Protocol in June asked the U.N. climate secretariat to report on legal options to avoid a political vacuum or gap.
Kyoto placed carbon emissions caps on nearly 40 developed countries from 2008-2012. Under existing rules, a new round of targets needs the agreement of at least 143 countries -- or three quarters of all parties to the Protocol."