SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s heavily polluted industrial province of Hebei has pledged to cut concentrations of hazardous smog particles by 14 percent by 2020, part of China’s ongoing efforts to improve air quality in the region.
Following a meeting this week, the provincial government promised to cut small, airborne particles known as PM2.5 to an average of 57 micrograms per cubic metre by 2020, down from 65 micrograms in 2017, according to a notice issued by the local environmental bureau on Thursday.
Smog-prone Hebei, which surrounds the capital Beijing, is a major front in China’s ongoing “war on pollution”, and it is desperate to promote cleaner forms of growth and cut fossil fuel use, especially coal.
The province has been under heavy pressure to bring smog under control this winter, shutting factories, curbing traffic and converting coal-fired heating boilers as part of a state anti-pollution drive that committed 28 northern Chinese cities to reduce PM2.5 concentrations by at least 15 percent from October 2017 to March 2018.
Hebei - China’s biggest steel-producing region - also said this week that it would accelerate efforts to restructure its heavy industrial economy, promote innovation, expand tourism and service sectors and increase forestation in the next three years.
The province aims to raise the share of non-fossil fuels in its total primary energy mix to 10 percent by 2020, up from 5 percent in 2015 - still falling short of the national target of 15 percent for the period.
Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell