If California puts out more greenhouses than most other US states, China is threatening to overtake the US as a whole on that. Now California is offering to help out China with ideas on cutting down on such emissions.
Despite its output, California is leading efforts to curb emissions. The state's top environmental official is in Beijing to sign an agreement with the United Nations to help China's efforts.
According to the four-page agreement to be signed Tuesday on Earth Day, the state also would mobilize public agencies and encourage private entities in California to support climate change projects in China, reports news agency AP.
"I think it will help show them they can indeed reach set targets and move forward on environmental protection and maintain a strong economy as California has," Linda Adams, California's Environmental Protection Agency secretary, said Monday in a telephone interview from Beijing.
President Bush called last week for a halt in the growth of greenhouse gases by 2025, but his administration has refused to sign international commitments to cut emissions, saying the U.S. would be at a competitive disadvantage unless those treaties also include China, India and other developing nations.
But China and others have said their output is still less than that of industrialized countries.
Beijing is one of the world's most polluted cities. A fog of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide often blankets the city at levels five times higher than safety standards set by the World Health Organization.
The pollution has been a worry for some athletes hoping to participate in this summer's Olympic Games. Although the International Olympic Committee has said the pollution would not endanger their health, several athletes have said they are considering wearing masks during competition.
California's agreement with the development program, a subsidiary of the U.N., follows several years of international outreach by the state.
In 2005, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an environmental agreement with the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau to help improve air quality and water quality. The agreement was amended in 2007 to further bolster California's support of Beijing's air quality programs.
On Monday, Schwarzenegger said the state's agreement with China recognizes that climate change requires a global solution.
"America has to lead, and we are doing so with or without Washington," Schwarzenegger said in a news release. "California is not waiting for the federal government to take action."