China's Hebei province to cut coal use by 5 million tonnes this year: Xinhua

A pile of coal is seen underneath newly installed gas pipes in a courtyard in the village of Heqiaoxiang outside of Baoding, Hebei province, China, December 5, 2017. Picture taken December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s northern Hebei province plans to reduce its annual coal consumption by 5 million tonnes this year by promoting the use of clean and renewable energy, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

The smog-plagued province has already cut coal consumption by 44 million tonnes between 2013 and 2017, according to Xinhua.

This year, Hebei authorities will continue developing the province’s central heating system, and promote the use of gas and electricity for heating in rural areas as a substitute for coal.

The province will support construction of low-carbon pilot cities and raise emission standards for its heavily polluting industries, Xinhua said.

Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Mark Potter