BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- China has vowed to take a multi-pronged approach to tackle the country's air pollution, which is increasingly a public concern, according to a government action plan unveiled on Thursday.
China will cut coal use, shut down polluters and promote cleaner production in a bid to clean up the air under the plan, which analysts say shows the government's resolve to fight pollution.
The government aims to cut the density of inhalable particulate matter by at least 10 percent in major cities nationwide by 2017.
PM 2.5, a key indicator of air pollution, should fall by about 25 percent from 2012 levels in Beijing and surrounding provincial areas by 2017, according to the plan.
The Yangtze Delta and the Pearl River Delta regions would see reductions of 20 and 15 percent, respectively, from 2012 levels over the same period, according to the plan.
Carrying out the plan would require an injection of funds of about 1.75 trillion yuan (around 286.06 billion U.S. dollars), according to estimates from the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
LESS COAL USE
China will increase clean energy supply and use and further cut coal consumption, which supplies most of the country's electricity and remains a major source of air pollutant emission.
China aims to cut total coal consumption to below 65 percent of its total primary energy use by 2017 as part of the country's efforts to accelerate adjustment of its energy structure, according to the plan, which is posted on www.gov.cn.
New projects to be constructed in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze Delta and the Pearl River Delta regions will be banned from setting up their own coal-fired power plants, it says.
China will boost supply of natural gas, coal-based substitute natural gas (SNG) and coalbed methane, according to the plan.
By 2015, the country's newly-increased natural gas pipeline transport capacity will total more than 150 billion cubic meters, covering the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and both the Yangtze and Pearl River delta regions.
Under the plan, the total capacity of China's operating nuclear power reactors will reach 50 million kilowatts by 2017, and the share of non-fossil fuel energy will be raised to 13 percent of overall primary energy use.
China is eyeing a roughly 20-percent cut in energy consumption per unit of industrial value added by 2017, compared to 2012 levels, according to the plan.
LESS POLLUTANT SOURCES
The government said combined heat and power plants will gradually replace decentralized coal-fired boilers in chemical engineering, papermaking, dyeing and tanning industry clusters.
China will quicken construction of desulfurization, denitrification and dedusting facilities in coal-fired plants, steel mills and cement plants, it added.
The plan calls for technological upgrades at refinery businesses to improve the quality of fuel oil, which affects vehicle emissions.
The government aims to clear heavy-polluting "yellow-label" vehicles from roads across the country by 2017.
As part of a broader air pollution campaign, China will promote the transformation and upgrading of industries, and further tighten control over high-polluting and energy-intensive industries.
Greater efforts will be made to eliminate outdated production capacity in the sectors of iron and steel, cement, electrolytic aluminum and sheet glass, the plan says.
A target for closing outdated production capacity in key industrial sectors that was originally set for 2015 will be achieved by 2014, it adds.
Heavier penalties will be imposed for violations of environmental, energy conservation and safety requirements, while energy conservation and environmental protection standards will be strictly implemented to support the phasing out of excess production capacity.
China has been under growing pressure to address the causes of air pollution after heavy smog smothered large swathes of the country early this year.
Beijing's average PM 2.5 density in January was 180 micrograms per cubic meter, about 30 percent higher than the level recorded during the same period in 2011.
Environment Minister Zhou Shengxian acknowledged in June that China's atmospheric environment situation is grave, saying industrial restructuring and adjusting the country's energy mix are keys to addressing the problem.
Analysts welcomed the new move, saying it showed the central authority's determination to curb air pollution. However, some warned that the goals outlined require great efforts to achieve.
"It will be an arduous task to realize these very specific and relatively high targets for environmental improvement," said Chai Fahe, deputy head of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences. "But it's possible to achieve them."
"The plan shows the government's concern over public health as well as its reflection on some unsustainable development modes," he said.
BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Beijing municipal authorities unveiled on Thursday a five-year plan to improve air quality through measures such as cutting coal consumption, promoting clean energy use and reducing production capacities with heavy pollution.
The capital's 2013-2017 plan aims to cut annual coal consumption by 13 million tonnes and keep it within 10 million tonnes by 2017, compared with 23 million tonnes in 2012. Full story
BEIJING, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Meteorological authorities in China have started issuing forecasts for air pollution conditions, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) announced on Monday.
The National Meteorological Center (NMC), a department under the CMA, will be in charge of issuing the forecasts on atmospheric pollution on six grades, with the first grade meaning excellent air conditions. Full story