Climate negotiators opened talks Monday on crafting an international agreement by 2009.
They hope to slash the greenhouse gases that some say threaten the planet while ensuring economic growth.
Representatives from 163 countries launched the week-long, United Nations-led meeting.
Their goal: replace the 1997 Kyoto global warming protocol after its first phase expires in 2012.
The United States is presently not a part of Kyoto because the Bush administration says the agreement could be damaging to a weakening U.S. economy.
Other major industrialized countries are also far apart on how to reduce emissions.