China's Ecology and Environment Ministry (MEE) has issued a draft plan of winter air pollution compaign for public comments, as Beijing attempts to clear smog-laden skies.
This new draft plan will include more cities this year, up from 28 key regions in 2017 to 64, including the capital city Beijing and nearby areas, and covering northern Hebei, northern Shanxi, eastern and southern Shandong and some cities in the southern Henan province.
The plan emphasized central government's stand of banning new high-energy consumption and high-emission projects, centering on industries such as petrochemical, steel, coking, non-ferrous and coal-fired power.
Coal consumption and products from two-highs industries have rose significantly in the first half of 2021, which heavily pressured down on the air quality improvement campaign.
Steel mills in the 64 cities will be ordered to cut production in the next six months, based on their emission levels.
The MEE will also continue to push for the reduction of burning coal use this year, aiming to replace it with natural gas or electricity heating systems at 3.67 million households. It said it would not hike city-gate gas prices at these residences.
(Writing by Rebecca Liu Editing by Emma Yang)
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