China says it will release a national plan on climate change Monday before next week's Group of Eight (G8) meeting of industrialized nations.

At a meeting Friday of top government officials China's State Council, Premier Wen Jiabao acknowledged that climate change has a direct impact on the country's interests and prospects for development.

Officials called on all regions and government departments in China to recognize the urgency of combating climate change. They also stated that countries have "shared but different" responsibilities to combat rising temperatures.

China has opposed compulsory caps on emissions, complaining they would block the path to growth and prosperity that rich countries have already taken.

President Hu Jintao is scheduled to attend next week's G8 meeting in Germany, where climate change is expected to be high on the agenda.

Scientists say that China may overtake the U.S. as the world's top emitter of greenhouse gasses as early as this year.

China argues, however, that its per-capita emissions levels are far below those of rich countries, and that developed nations should take the lead in fighting global warming.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.