BEIJING — China’s smog-plagued capital has announced plans to ban the use of coal by the end of 2020 as the country fights deadly levels of pollution, especially in major cities, the Associated Press reported. Beijing’s Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau posted the plan on its website, saying the city would instead prioritize electricity and natural gas for heating. The official Xinhua News Agency said coal accounted for a quarter of Beijing’s energy consumption in 2012 and 22 percent of the fine particles floating in the city’s air. Motor vehicles, industrial production, and general dust also contributed to pollution in the city, which boasts approximately 21 million residents. According to the report, coal-fired power and heating is a major generator of greenhouse gases and has helped turn China into the world’s largest emitter of carbon and other heat-trapping gases.
Publication date: 9/8/2014