The research suggests the country's greenhouse gas emissions have been underestimated, and probably passed those of the US in 2006-2007.
If it becomes widely accepted that China's future emissions are likely to be much higher than previously estimated, that will have to factored into any future global climate agreement if the Chinese are to be persuaded to take part.
In brief, although this study looks bad for China's reputation, it may be good for China's negotiating position.
The Chinese - and the UN - insist that rich countries with high per capita levels of pollution must cut emissions first, and help poorer countries to invest in clean technology.
America's per capita emissions are five to six times higher than China's, even though China has become the top manufacturing economy.
US emissions are still growing too, though much more slowly."
The BBC link above is to a good resource page on the state of the world and climate change, including a link to the BBC's Climate Change Portal.