China's greenhouse gas emissions could start to decline within 10 years, according to a report from the London School of Economics.
This would be five years earlier than expected and would offer a boost towards efforts to protect the climate.
The shift has been partly caused by a massive commitment to renewables
. China is the world's top investor in wind and solar power.
It has also been replacing old coal plants with cleaner new stations.
'Under-promise and over-deliver'
Many of the changes in power generation have been prompted by the need to tackle chronic air pollution, but China's leaders are also acutely conscious of their country's particular vulnerability to a heating planet.