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At the December 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, as is now well known, the parties failed to agree on any detailed course of action, much less enter into a binding agreement to control carbon emissions. However, four developing countries, Brazil, China, India and South Africa, formed a working group now known as "BASIC," and promised to try and resolve at least one key sticking point. Specifically, the BASIC countries brokered an accord with the United States under which both developing and more developed nations would later submit carbon emissions target cuts.

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