China's ambition to grow quickly but cleanly soon may vault it to "front-runner" status -- far ahead of the United States -- in taking on global warming, the UN climate chief said Monday.
China could steal the show by unveiling new plans Tuesday at a UN climate summit of 100 world leaders. India has also signaled that it wants to be an "active player" on climate change.
People take part in a mobile phone 'Wake-up Call' event at Parliament Square in London, Monday, Sept. 21, 2009.
"China and India have announced very ambitious national climate change plans. In the case of China, so ambitious that it could well become the front-runner in the fight to address climate change," UN climate chief Yvo de Boer told The Associated Press Monday. "The big question mark is the US"
The development would mark a dramatic turnabout. The United States, under former President George W. Bush's administration, long cited inaction by China and India as the reason for rejecting mandatory cuts in greenhouse gases.