China emitted fewer greenhouse gases in the third quarter.

The fact that harmful emissions were lower is striking, because the recovery from the corona crisis involves an economic recovery and an increase in industrial activity.

This may be a turning point, the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) wrote in a report released Thursday.

The CREA registered a 0.5 percent decrease in Chinese CO2 emissions in the third quarter compared to the same period a year earlier.

Measured over the first half of this year, harmful emissions were just 9 percent higher.

There are also caveats.

In the third quarter, China struggled with coal shortages for its coal-fired power stations.

This led to power shortages at the companies, which meant that they could produce less.

The production of steel and cement - both good for a lot of harmful emissions - was also much lower in the previous period.

Due to the problems surrounding project developer Evergrande, the Chinese government is keeping a close eye on the construction sector, resulting in fewer large buildings being built.

Nevertheless, the CREA is positive in its report.

The researchers expect China's emissions to peak much earlier than expected.