Type to search

China Vows to Curb Coal Use to Tackle Poor Air Quality

Beijing said it will reduce coal consumption in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region by about 10% from 2020 levels by 2025

China Carbon Trade
Smoke belches from a coal power station near Datong, in China’s northern Shanxi province in 2015. Photo: AFP.


China has pledged to curb coal use in a bid to tackle poor air quality in some of its biggest cities, the country’s state council said in a new action plan.

By 2025, China wants to cut the density of hazardous airborne particles known as PM2.5 by 10% compared with 2020, and keep the number of days with severe pollution to less than 1%, according to the plan. The document also said China will restrict high-emissions projects to help improve air quality.

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.


Also on AF: China Consumer Prices Fall Fastest in 3 Years, Alarming Beijing


Chinese cities have grappled with high air pollution readings in recent months despite authorities’ efforts to improve air quality in recent years.

The plan sets a target to reduce coal consumption in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and surrounding areas by about 10% from 2020 levels by 2025. A 5% 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.

The government also called for the consumption of energy from alternative or renewable sources to account for about 20% of total consumption by 2025.


China Rail Cargo Push

China will as well promote the use of electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions, with fast-charging stations at no less than 80% of highway service areas in key regions, including Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, by 2025 and no less than 60% in other regions.

The government called for increasing freight cargo transport by rail and water by about 10% and 12%, respectively, by 2025 versus 2020 to cut down on higher-polluting road transport.

Railway should account for 90% of long-haul coal transport around key mining hubs in the northern and northwestern regions by 2025, the document also said, without giving a comparison.

The world’s second-largest economy plans to expand funding for clean heating in the northern region and increase credit and financing support for upgrading traditional industries, it said.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


Read more:

Work on New Coal Plants Raises Doubt on China’s Climate Vows

Global Subsidies For Oil, Gas and Coal Now Reach $7 Trillion: IMF

Drop in Hydropower Forcing China and India to Use More Coal

China ‘Needs to Fix its Electricity Grid, Not More Coal Power’



Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


AF China Bond