The Chinese state press agency, Xinhua, has reported that Beijing is looking to ban coal use by 2020 — a massive development in a country known for smoggy cities and developing world energy-usage.
“Beijing will ban coal sales and use in its six main districts and other regions by the end of 2020 to cut air pollution, local authorities said on Monday,” according to Xinhua, who remain one of the most effective means of getting information out of China (especially if you don’t speak or read a word of Chinese).
Xinhua quotes the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau as saying that the districts of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan will be the first districts to stop using coal and its related products.
Furthermore,, clean energy is expected to replace coal in the districts, though the specifics of such a move are as yet unclear.
According to the Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) at the time of writing, pollution levels in Beijing are relatively “Good” — but these figures grow distressingly “Unhealthy” as you move further out from the city-center. As a whole, Beijing air pollution is ranking as ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ — a regular occurrence the government would appear to want to change.
The changes are restricted to the immediate inner suburbs and city center (yellow and red below) — leaving the outer suburbs of Beijing and Rural Beijing (purple and green) untouched by the new plans.
It was announced late 2013 that China intends to move away from their dependence on massive coal exports from Australia — a decision which is not going to help Australia in the long run if Tony Abbott continues along his reckless path — and the country is already moving towards implementing one of the largest renewable energy programs.
As a developing country — even one as populous as China — renewable energy has been shown to be both economically and environmentally beneficial, and with China’s massive production capabilities we have already seen just how quickly the country will be able to turn this particular page in their history.