SHANGHAI, July 12 China's capital city, Beijing,
will enforce the use of cleaner low-sulphur coal from Aug. 1 in
a bid to tackle the soaring levels of air pollution that
frequently clog the country's major cities, the official Xinhua
media agency said on Saturday.
Beijing will implement strict controls and targets for
airborne sulphur from coal, Xinhua said, citing the Beijing
Municipal Administration of Quality and Technology Supervision.
This is the first time China has enforced the use of
low-sulphur coal across all industries to tackle pollution.
Air quality in cities is of increasing concern to China's
stability-obsessed leaders, anxious to douse potential unrest as
a more affluent urban population turns against a
growth-at-all-costs economic model that has poisoned much of the
country's air, water and soil.
A Xinhua editorial earlier on Saturday called for China's
population to "rein in their craze" for excessive consumption to
help solve the country's growing environmental issues.
Beijing has previously established an array of laws and
rules to battle the environmental consequences of three decades
of unchecked growth, but weak monitoring and punishment make it
tough to get powerful industrial interests to comply.
China unveiled plans at the end of last year to slash coal
consumption and close polluting mills, factories and smelters to
cut air pollution.
Beijing has also been pushing the country's steelmakers and
power plants to buy higher-quality raw materials to meet tougher
(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Sophie Hares)