Beijing is ready to reduce coal consumption in the city in 2017 just to solve the smog issue.
It is still winter in the Northern hemisphere, and China is a country that is frequently hit by heavy smog waves due to the massive use of coal for energy production and heating.
A reduction of 30% in coal use does not mean a reduction that affects the entire country, the reduction will affect only the coal consumed by Beijing for energy and heating.
Beijing seems to be committed to take the required measures in 2017 to tackle the choking smog produced by the heavy traffic and the massive use of coal especially during the cold season.
Beijing’s Mayor Cai Qi, stated that the city hall wants to basically reduce to zero the coal consumption in six major districts of the city and in Beijing’s southern plain areas.
The mayor also announced that they plan to eliminate the small coal-fired boilers used by many households for heating in the same attempt to reduce the level of smog that affects the entire city.
Cai stated further that the reduction will mean that less than 7 million tonnes of coal will be used in the city in 2017.
The city intended first to reduce the coal consumption to bellow 10 million tonnes this year, down from about 22 million tonnes of coal used in 2013.
The difference in energy supply will be covered by imports from the neighboring provinces via the grid.
Besides the coal reduction, the city also plans to remove from the streets a number of 300,000 obsolete vehicles this year, as part of the plan to raise fuel standards and promote the use of electric cars.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection in China says that heavy traffic produces about 30% of Beijing’s emissions and is responsible for the release of harmful breathable particles (PM2.5).
To meet state standards, China’s cities need to reduce the level of harmful breathable particles (PM2.5) to an annual average of 35 micrograms per cubic meter.
In 2016, the average concentrations of PM2.5 in Beijing reached a level of 73 micrograms per cubic meter, down by 9.9% from the previous year 2015.
However, since mid-December 2016, the readings in Beijing have regularly exceeded the level of 500 micrograms per cubic meter in some areas of the city.
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