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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bush Hosts Big Polluter Discussion

WASHINGTON -- The world's biggest greenhouse gas polluters -- including the United States and China -- sent envoys to the U.S. State Department Thursday for discussions on climate change and what to do about it.

The two-day meeting was called by U.S. President George W. Bush, whose administration has been criticized for its refusal to adopt mandatory limits for climate-warming emissions. The White House favors "aspirational" targets.

By most counts, the United States is the No. 1 emitter of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide produced by coal-fired power plants and petroleum-fueled vehicles. But at least one study this year indicated that fast-developing China is now in the lead.

Other participants are the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, India, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Indonesia and South Africa.

This gathering of major economies follows a high-level United Nations meeting Monday, which drew more than 80 heads of state and government to focus on the problem of global warming.

At its conclusion, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he saw a "major political commitment" to seek a global solution to the problem at future UN discussions in December in Bali, Indonesia.

The Washington talks are not formal climate negotiations but rather an airing of views on greenhouse gases, energy security, technology development and commercialization.