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July 28, 2015

China Chills to Coal

Tourist wearing masks at Tiananmen Square during severe pollution in February. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Tourist wearing masks at Tiananmen Square during severe pollution in February.
(Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Beijing will ban the use of coal in its six main districts by the end of 2020, state media said Monday, in effort to curb air pollution, according to Reuters:

Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan districts will all stop using coal and coal products and shut down coal-fired power plants and other coal facilities, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday. In 2012, coal made up one-quarter of the city’s total energy consumption, Xinhua quoted official statistics as saying. Fuel oil, petroleum coke, combustible waste and some biomass fuels will also be prohibited as part of the effort to fight pollution, Xinhua said.

China added 13 gigawatts of hydropower capacity this year, enough to displace 26 million tons of coal, which is lowering shipping rates, Bloomberg reports. Seaborne coal imports to China are expected to drop to 75 million metric tons by 2018, half the level they were last year, while global trade in coal is increasing, the outlet reported.


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