Delegates from more than 160 countries are meeting in Accra, Ghana, for a United Nations-sponsored meeting aimed at laying the groundwork for a new agreement to combat global warming.

Ghanaian President John Kufuor told participants Thursday that time is running out to finalize an agreement.  He added that Ghana is experiencing signs of climate change such as increased drought and flooding.

U.N. Climate Change Secretariat chief Yvo de Boer urged delegates to speed up the pace of negotiations.

The one-week meeting is part of a series of talks in the run-up to the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen next year.

The negotiations aim to create a successor deal to the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for reduced greenhouse gas emissions.  Delegates also will look at policies and incentives to reduce emissions from tropical deforestation, which is said to account for 20 percent of greenhouse gases.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.