Beijing's mayor urges "all-out effort" to curb air pollution
BEIJING (REUTERS) - Beijing's mayor pledged on Thursday to cut coal use by 2.6 million tonnes and set aside 15 billion yuan (S$3.5 billion) to improve air quality this year as part of the city's "all-out effort" to tackle air pollution, state news agency Xinhua said.
The announcement by Wang Anshun came as the capital was blanketed in its worst smog in months. An index measuring PM2.5 particles, especially bad for health, reached 500 in much of the capital in the early hours.
A level above 300 is considered hazardous, while the World Health Organisation recommends a daily level of no more than 20.
Coal-burning boilers inside Beijing's fifth ring road - covering the built-up area of the city - will be eliminated and measures taken against coal burning in the capital's periphery, Xinhua quoted Mr Wang as saying.