BEIJING, Sept.16 (Reuters) – China plans to include more cities in its air pollution campaign in 2021, the Environment Ministry said in a project on Thursday, as Beijing attempts to clean the skies laden with smog.
The campaign was launched in 2017 and initially focused on 28 key regions, including the capital Beijing and surrounding areas. China is due to host the Winter Olympics in Beijing and neighboring Zhangjiakou in early February 2022.
The new draft plan covers areas in northern Hebei, northern Shanxi, eastern and southern Shandong, and some cities in southern Henan Province, bringing the total to 64.
China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) said it would release monthly air quality data for each region and issue alerts to those who see less progress in improving air quality. air quality.
“We will be holding regulatory discussions publicly with the local government official,” the MEE said, adding that those responsible will be held accountable if they are found to be tampering with or tampering with emissions data. The draft plan did not detail the overall air quality objectives.
The campaign, which will run from October to the end of March, is being expanded this year to take into consideration “the atmospheric environment in autumn and winter and the influence of regional transmission,” he added.
The MEE will continue to push for a reduction in the use of burning coal this year, aiming to replace it with natural gas or electric heating systems in 3.67 million homes. He said he would not increase gas prices at the city gate in these residences.
The plan also underscored the central government’s position to ban new energy-intensive, high-emission projects, especially in industries such as petrochemicals, steel, coking, non-ferrous and power plants. charcoal.
Steel mills in 64 regions will be ordered to reduce their production within six months, depending on their emission levels.
Reporting by Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh; Editing by Jon Boyle and Alexander Smith
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