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Hebei to cut coal use to improve air

2013-06-26 09:28 Global Times Web Editor: Wang YuXia

Hebei Province has vowed to cut its coal consumption by 40 million tons in the five years till 2017 in an effort to contain the severe air pollution, the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald reported Tuesday.

The resolution, made in an action plan drafted by the provincial authorities, aims to reduce the pollutants that affect two neighboring megacities, Beijing and Tianjin, experts said.

The target is to lower the average annual concentration of PM2.5 by 25 percent in 2017 from 2013. Figures show that the province consumed some 264 million tons of coal in 2011.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection said earlier this month that seven of the 10 most polluted cities in May are in Hebei Province, with Beijing and Tianjin also on the list.

The province said that only three cities had relatively good air quality from January 1 to May 20, while the rest were troubled by continuous haze.

Zhao Zhangyuan, a professor with the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, told the Global Times the measures may have some effect, but not soon, adding that although the poor air quality in Beijing is partially attributed to Hebei, Beijing itself needs proactive measures too.

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