China sets national coal use target to tackle air pollution

A file photo taken on Jan 16, 2013 shows the Pudong business district shrouded by heavy air pollution in Shanghai. China will aim to cut total coal consumption to below 65 percent of total primary energy use by 2017 as part of a comprehensive new pla
A file photo taken on Jan 16, 2013 shows the Pudong business district shrouded by heavy air pollution in Shanghai. China will aim to cut total coal consumption to below 65 percent of total primary energy use by 2017 as part of a comprehensive new plan to tackle air pollution, the government said on Thursday. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China will aim to cut total coal consumption to below 65 percent of total primary energy use by 2017 as part of a comprehensive new plan to tackle air pollution, the government said on Thursday.

China will also stop approving new thermal power plants in key industrial areas such as the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in the north and the Yangtze and Pearl River delta regions in the east and southeast.

In a notice posted on its official website (www.gov.cn), the Chinese government said it would also raise the share of non-fossil fuel energy to 13 percent by 2017.

Its previous target stood at 15 percent by 2020. It said it would also raise installed nuclear capacity to 50 gigawatts (GW) by 2017. Its previous target stood at 58 GW by 2020.