China will bypass the US to become the world’s top energy consumer by 2010, a new study says. Spurred by increased demand for natural resources, the country’s energy consumption will double in just 20 years to satisfy its booming economy, the BBC reports. To quench its thirst for fossil fuels, China is seeking relief in Africa and the Middle East.
And China’s expanding economy is letting off a little too much steam, the International Energy Agency says, predicting that China also will unseat the US as the world’s largest carbon polluter this year. Despite growing threats to the environment, Chinese authorities balk at energy efficiency initiatives from the West, reminding their critics that Chinese-produced goods often flow to Western markets, the BBC notes.