China issues action plan to improve air quality

December 09, 2023

BEIJING: China will “strictly and reasonably” control total coal use and curb high-emissions projects to improve air quality, China’s state council said in an action plan released on Friday.

By 2025, China wants to cut the density of hazardous airborne particles known as PM2.5 by 10 percent compared with 2020, and keep the number of days with severe pollution to less than 1 percent, according to the plan.

Pedestrians walk on an overpass as traffic snarls amid haze from air pollution in Beijing on November 1, 2023.— AFP File

Other proposed measures include development of new and clean energy, increasing natural gas production and curbing projects that lead to high energy consumption and high emissions.The plan sets a target to reduce coal consumption in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and surrounding areas by about 10 percent from 2020 levels by 2025.

A 5 percent reduction is targeted for the Yangtze River Delta region. Coal use in northern China’s Shanxi and Shaanxi province will be cut over the same period.

Captive coal-fired generators that provide electricity to single factories or industrial complexes will not be permitted in general and only those that contribute to the overall safety of grid operation will be considered, the statement said. Inefficient, small-scale coal-fired boilers will also be mothballed, it said.