Beijing to phase out coal stoves in 450 villages

Beijing,   Beijing plans to phase out coal-fired heating in 450 villages in the Chinese plain in 2018 in its latest bid to tackle air pollution.

Authorities also plan to help some mountain villages and those near the 2022 Winter Olympics venues to switch to clean energy for heating, he said.

Beijing plans to spend about $3 billion to fight air pollution in 2018.

Households in these 450 villages will switch from coal to gas or electricity for heating, Xinhua quoted Sun Wenkai, head of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Rural Affairs, as saying.

By the end of 2018, coal use in all villages in the plain areas will be phased out, said Sun.

Coal use in rural areas is a major source of air pollution in the winter, said Sun.

A total of 974,000 households in 2,237 villages here have shifted to clean energy, helping reduce coal consumption by about 2.9 million tonnes per heating season and cutting emissions of sulphur dioxide by 14,000 tonne.

The Chinese capital has intensified measures to improve its air quality and has achieved remarkable results in the last few years, Sun said.

The average density of PM2.5 in Beijing was 58 micrograms per cubic metre in 2017, which was 20.5 per cent less than in 2016.