Beijing plans to cut coal use by 30 per cent to fight air pollution

The capital has been engulfed in thick smog for days at a time throughout the winter

Ben Blanchard
Sunday 05 February 2017 17:07
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Smog has remained a persistent problem in China's capital
Smog has remained a persistent problem in China's capital

Beijing will intensify its battle against choking air pollution this year and aims to cut coal use by 30 percent, state news agency Xinhua cited the mayor, Cai Qi, as saying.

Despite repeated pledges to get tough, large parts of northern and central China have been engulfed in thick smog again this winter, often for days at a time, disrupting flights, port operations and schools.

Mr Cai said the government will take even more steps this year, including cutting coal use by helping residents of 700 villages to use clean energy, Xinhua reported.

“We will try to basically realise zero coal use in six major districts and in Beijing’s southern plain areas this year,” Mr Cai said.

“We will slash coal use by 30 percent to less than seven million tonnes in 2017,” he added.

Beijing will also remove 300,000 old vehicles from the roads this year and promote the use of new energy cars, Xinhua said.

Mr Cai added that better regional coordination was needed.

“It is an urgent task for Beijing and its neighbouring areas to work together and improve air quality in the region.

Reuters

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