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Beijing to shut down coal-fired power plants


Beijing will fully shut down its coal-fired power plants in the capital city by 2017, in a move to fight the pollution stemming from coal-burning emissions, according to the municipal commission for development and reform.

In a clean air plan released on September 2, the government said it aims to cut 13 million tons of coal consumption over the next five years, or a 50-plus percent drop from the 2012 levels. As a result, total coal consumption in 2017 will be brought down to less than 10 million tons.

The coal-burning power plants will be phased out until they will all be shut down in 2016, while four gas-fired power plants under construction are expected to help reduce coal use by 9.2 million tons when they go into operation.

Statistics show that coal burning is the second greatest contributor to Beijing's air pollution (16.7 percent), only after vehicles (22.2 percent).

The city will slash the amount of PM2.5 particles, air pollutants with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less, to 60 micrograms per cubic meter by 2017, down by 25 percent from the 2012 levels, according to the plan.

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