The Associated Press reported November 7 an interest group's findings that Saudi Arabia and the United States are the worst "climate sinners" for not taking drastic attempts to cut carbon emissions. But it accepted the group's "relatively positive" assertion that China's emission growth will slow in the future.
The news wire story picked up by USA Today reported that Saudi Arabia was the biggest sinner because its policies block attempts to curb greenhouse gases and the U.S. was second because it refuses to sign the Kyoto Treaty.
Where did China rank? 17th.
Released at a United Nations conference in Bali, Indonesia, the Climate Action Network-Europe's findings were compiled by Germanwatch and ranked 56 industrialized and emerging countries measuring "pollution levels and trends, as well as overall climate policy."
Beijing's smog has been flagged by many athletes hoping to compete in the 2008 Olympic games as a potential hindrance to their performance.
On November 19, medical advisors to the Australian Olympic team complained that the Chinese were reluctant to release air pollution test results, according to the International Herald Tribune.
The world record holder for the women's marathon, Paula Radcliffe, has also expressed concern over pollution in Beijing as she will be running for over two hours in the race and is an asthmatic.
Dr. Bruce Hamilton, the United Kingdom Athletics doctor responsible for Radcliffe's health told the Times Online November 11, "There has been a lot of hype and concern about the pollution levels in Beijing. That is something we have taken on board quite seriously."