It was only three months ago that international energy officials revised a
prediction that China would surpass the United States as the world's largest
producer of greenhouse gases by 2009 or 2010. It could happen, they warned, as
early as the end of this year.
That may have been conservative.
China's emissions of carbon dioxide, the most significant greenhouse gas,
already have exceeded those of the United States, according to a report released
this week by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.
The study estimated that the surging demand for power from China's rapidly
expanding economy caused carbon dioxide emissions to rise by 9% in 2006. That
increase, coupled with a slight decline in the United States, meant that China's
emissions for the year surpassed those of the U.S. by 8%, the Dutch report said.
A top official of the International Energy Agency, considered the authoritative
source on ...