China Publishes Action Plan to Improve Air Quality

China’s State Council has published an action plan to improve air quality amid the country’s effort to promote high-quality economic development.

According to a report from Chinese news agency Xinhua, the plan contains a series of measures to achieve bluer skies by 2025, such as propelling green industrial shifts, building a cleaner energy mix, and developing a low-carbon transport system.

Its goals are to reduce PM2.5 density in cities at the prefecture level and above by 10% by 2025, compared to the 2020 level; to control the proportion of days each year with heavy air pollution to 1% or less, and to cut emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds by over 10%.

The plan lists the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and its surrounding areas, as well as the Yangtze River Delta region and the Fenwei Plain, as key areas.

China will ban new steel production capacities, accelerate the removal of outdated capacities in key industries, and foster green industries.

More will be done to develop new and clean energy to ensure that non-fossil energy will account for 20% of the country’s total energy consumption by 2025. The production and supply of natural gas will also be increased.

In addition “new energy” vehicles will account for no less than 80% of new or updated buses, taxis and other urban public transport vehicles in key areas.