In a move that could further isolate the United States on environmental issues, China announced yesterday that its State Council is on the verge of approving the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The Chinese parliament would also need to ratify the treaty, but that body generally rubber-stamps decisions made by the State Council, where the real decision-making takes place. Because it is a developing country, China would not be held to First World emissions reductions standards, even though it is the world’s second-largest producer of carbon dioxide after the U.S. However, by signing the treaty, China would become eligible to gain revenue from developed countries looking to earn credits toward emissions goals by investing in emissions-reducing projects in developing countries. Premier Zhu Rongji could announce China’s backing of the pact during the World Summit on Sustainable Development, opening next week in Johannesburg, South Africa.