In what appears to be the first official acknowledgement of findings that China is emitting at least as much carbon dioxide annually as the United States (if not more), an official in charge of China’s climate policy released a report saying as much that also warned of a big financial toll from climate change. “Climate change has already brought real threats to China’s ecological system and economic and social development,” he said at a news conference. “Whether or not we have surpassed [U.S. total emissions] is not in itself important.” What is important, the report said, is that emissions will continue to grow. “[China’s] coal-dominated energy mix cannot be substantially changed in the near future, thus making the control of greenhouse gases rather difficult.”

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