Vice premier Zhang Gaoli has announced new plans whereby the central government will publish a list of the ten worst and best cities for air pollution across China.
According to the SCMP, the central government has also set its first provincial level coal-reduction targets in a bid to clean up the air.
Beijing’s industrial region will be required to cut down on coal usage and phase out the dirtiest industries under new air pollution targets, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, and Shandong have also been told to cut down annual coal consumption by 83 million tonnes by 2017 from current usage of a combined 670 million tonnes.
Industrial regions around Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou have also been asked to cut down PM 2.5 levels by 25, 20 and 15 percent respectively by 2017.
The moves may have been partly inspired by Jochem Heizmann, Volkswagen China chief, who said China’s car industry still has more room to lower emissions.
In an interview, Heizmann commented that low emission technology widely implemented in the west has not been “applied on a large scale in China” and that doing so could help reduce pollution.
[Image credit: @lfeng]