Smog-prone Chinese province says air quality target met

SHANGHAI • The smog-prone northern Chinese province of Hebei has fulfilled its 2013-2017 targets to cut pollution, coal consumption and steel capacity, the local government said yesterday.

Hebei, home to six of China's 10 smoggiest cities in the first three quarters of this year, is on the front line of the country's "war on pollution" and is beginning a stringent winter campaign to curb emissions.

As part of a 2013 action plan to tackle smog, Hebei was ordered to cut concentrations of hazardous airborne particles known as PM2.5 by 25 per cent by the end of this year, as well as cut steel capacity by 60 million tonnes and coal consumption by 40 million tonnes.

Mr Yin Guangping, vice-head of Hebei's environmental protection bureau, said the province had cut PM2.5 to 64 micrograms per cubic metre in the first 10 months of this year, a 38.5 per cent decline since 2013, according to a report on the bureau's website.

Hebei, China's biggest steel-producing region, had also cut steel capacity by 69.9 million tonnes by the end of September, and reduced annual coal usage by 37.3 million tonnes last year, with another 6 million tonnes of cuts expected this year.

China as a whole is aiming to cut steel capacity by 100 million to 150 million tonnes over 2016-2020.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2017, with the headline 'Smog-prone Chinese province says air quality target met'. Print Edition | Subscribe