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Page added on October 29, 2008

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China says greenhouse gases catch up with U.S.

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s greenhouse gas emissions have caught up with the United States and will not fall any time soon, a top Chinese official said on Wednesday, while warning of a huge economic blow from global warming.

The comments from Xie Zhenhua, a deputy chief of the National Development and Reform Commission who steers climate change policy, marked China’s first official acknowledgement that it could already be the world’s biggest greenhouse gas polluter.

Many experts believe China’s output of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels, has already outstripped the United States, for over a century the world’s biggest emitter.

Until now, however, Chinese officials have hedged on the issue and have released no new government data on emissions growth for the past 14 years. Nor did Xie give specific numbers.


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