People, Environment

China Vows to Tackle Air Pollution

China Vows  to Tackle  Air PollutionChina Vows  to Tackle  Air Pollution

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is pledging to make the country's smoggy skies blue again and "work faster" to address pollution caused by the burning of coal for heat and electricity. His words to delegates at the opening of the annual National People's Congress on Monday highlight how public discontent has made reducing smog, the most visible of China's environment problems, a priority for the leadership, reported. Protests have increasingly broken out in cities where residents oppose the building of chemical plants and garbage incinerators, as China's middle class grows increasingly vocal about the dangers of pollution. "We will make our skies blue again and take effective steps to tackle heavy air pollution," Li told almost 3,000 delegates. He said the government intended over the next year to step up work to upgrade coal-fired power plants to achieve ultra-low emissions and energy conservation, and prioritize the integration of renewable energy sources into the electricity grid. Despite China's lingering dependence on coal plants, its consumption of the energy source fell in 2016 for a third year in a row. Coal now makes up 62% of China's total energy consumption mix.


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