Beijing Decides to End Coal Consumption

China’s capital Beijing and its adjoining areas will end coal usage by 2020 to reduce the recurring smog in Beijing and improve air quality with a host of measures.

Among the efforts, Beijing has declared that it will wipe out coal use in its most rural areas by 2020.

As much as 60 per cent of smog content is caused by coal burning in the starting phase of each smog. Studies showed that 30 per cent of the pollution comes from automobiles.

To start with, Beijing will replace coal-fired heating stoves with those powered by electricity or gas in 400 villages this year, before taking the campaign to the districts of Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan by 2017.

Beijing’s downtown districts of Dongcheng and Xicheng eliminated coal burning last year.

The capital and other places in northern China experienced several smog alerts in November and December, when peak readings were many times higher than the national safety level.

Last month Beijing declared its first red alert as the city of over 22 million people was enveloped by heavily polluted smog leading to a host of emergency measures including closure of schools and restriction of traffic with odd and even number plates.

Burning coal for winter heating has been listed as one of the primary causes of air pollution, Chen Jining minister of environmental protection has said at the annual meeting on environmental protection in Beijing.