By Dan Shapley
China could overtake the United States as the world's leader in greenhouse gas emissions within a few months, and it -- like the U.S. -- refuses to set any mandatory limits on its pollution out of fear of damaging its economy. It released its new climate action plan Monday. That was the U.S. line under the Bush Administration for years. Last week, Bush called a meeting of the world's top polluters so that each could set a nonbinding greenhouse gas pollution goal and figure out how to share technology more easily. China's new climate plan relies on increased energy efficiency, but does little to deal with the fundamental issue of China's economy: A reliance on coal and pollution technology that is outdated by Western standards. But for the world, the climate solution is coming down -- at least in part -- to a question of ethics as much as politics and economics. Are industrialized countries, which have been pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for a century or more, responsible for making the deepest cuts? Or does it fall on the shoulders of those countries -- like China and India -- that have quickly emerged as major polluters only after decades of economic dormancy?, according to a story in the June 5 USA Today.