Advertisement

Beijing's mayor vows step away from coal

Chinese capital often cited as having the worst air quality in the world.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Beijing's mayor vows step away from coal
Beijing's mayor vows to move the city away from coal as air pollution concerns mount across the Chinese capital. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The mayor of Beijing said the city would move to improve air quality across the region by taking a dramatic step away from the use of coal.

China accounts for about 50 percent of the global demand for coal and, because of the size of its economy, that translates to about half of the world's total coal production. In Beijing, coal-based heating and industrial activity are key contributors to air pollution

Advertisement

Beijing Mayor Cai Qi said the city was taking extra abatement measures by cutting the use of coal across some of the municipal regions.

"We will try to basically realize zero coal use in six major districts and in Beijing's southern plain areas this year," he was quoted in the official Xinhua news agency as saying. "We will slash coal use by 30 percent to less than 7 million tons in 2017."

RELATED Xinhua: U.S. wasting opportunity in clean energy

Air quality in Beijing is considered among the worst in the world. The Chinese capital has in the past closed schools and halted construction work as its air quality passed a threshold set by the World Health Organization for human safety.

Advertisement

Without citing causes, a separate report from Xinhua during the weekend said more than half a million people die in China every year from complications tied to lung cancer.

"It is an urgent task for Beijing and its neighboring areas to work together and improve air quality in the region," the city's mayor said.

RELATED Asia Pacific to gain edge in low-carbon growth

The Chinese government last year issued a white paper that outlined the approach to development under the guidance of the Communist Party of China, saying China is "committed to the concept of environment-friendly development." State media in January was critical of the White House for pledging to move the U.S. economy closer to fossil fuel development.

RELATED China: Economic development tied to climate goals

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement