London, Sept. 13 (ANI): China has reportedly announced plans to control coal use in a bid to keep a check on the dangerous levels of air pollution in its major cities.
The country will ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants in areas around Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and also close down some of the worst offending factories.
The State Council said that pollution was harming people's health and affecting social harmony, the BBC reports.
According to the report, China faced one of its most prolonged environmental crisis last winter when a vast toxic cloud of pollutants settled over Beijing and large parts of north China.
The new initiative is aimed at use of more natural gas and nuclear power as it has identified the biggest offender as coal, which fires more than two-thirds of China's power plants.
The plan calls for a reduction of about a quarter in the dangerous fine particles that blanket Beijing and the targets set could reduce that capacity by some 5 percent over the next four years and replace it with cleaner fuels.
Some of the environmental groups have applauded the ambition of the targets while others have expressed doubts about how successfully they will be implemented, the report added. (ANI)