China has met its 2010 target to cut emissions of key pollutants and is on track to meet its energy efficiency goal, state media on Wednesday quoted the country's top climate change official as saying.
The comments come as negotiators from around the world were meeting in the Mexican resort city of Cancun for a new round of UN climate talks aimed at reviving the process that derailed at last year's summit in Copenhagen.
China last week acknowledged that it had become the world's biggest emitter of the greenhouse gases that are blamed for climate change and global warming -- surpassing the United States, though not in terms of emissions per capita.
China's efforts to improve energy efficiency allowed for savings of 490 million tonnes of coal and prevented carbon dioxide emissions totalling 1.13 billion tonnes in 2006-2009, the People's Daily reported.
The "total quantity of emissions of major pollutants has fallen by 10 percent," the newspaper, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist party, quoted top climate official Xie Zhenhua as saying.
This achievement "gives China the image of a major, responsible country," said Xie, vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission -- China's top economic planning agency.
China has sought to reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product -- so-called carbon intensity -- by 20 percent by year's end from 2005 levels and by by 40-45 percent by 2020.
Xie said the country had nearly reached that goal in the 2006-2010 period, with the amount of energy consumed per 10,000 yuan (1,500 dollars) of GDP falling from the equivalent of 1.22 tonnes of coal to one tonne.
But it has repeatedly refused to agree to firm emissions cuts, citing its lower emissions per capita as compared with developed nations, which it says should bear the brunt of global efforts to combat climate change.
Explore further: Ocean acidification changes balance of biofouling communities