Capital to clean water, reduce coal

Updated: 2016-01-23 14:26

By HU YONGQI(China Daily)

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Municipal government planning to install more clean-energy boilers, plant trees and build park

The Beijing municipal government will focus on "green development" by reducing coal consumption, cleaning up water and building more parks this year, the city's mayor said on Friday.

"Coal will be replaced with clean energy in 400 villages, while in urban areas coal-fired boilers generating a total 3,000 megawatt hours will be powered by clean energy as well," Mayor Wang Anshun said when delivering the government work report at the annual meeting of the Beijing People's Congress.

During the past five years coal consumption has been cut in half, a drop of about 14 million metric tons, Wang said.

The clean energies include natural gas and electricity that emit fewer pollutants. According to the Beijing Bureau of Environmental Protection, most of the city's coal-fired boilers have been retrofitted for natural gas, and electricity is used to power boilers in suburban areas where there is no gas network.

The city will also make 200,000 high-emission vehicles obsolete and raise the ratio of new-energy cars in public transportation, urban sanitation and postal services, according to Wang. The report also set a target to close all small and polluting businesses within two years in four districts in the southern part of the city-Fengtai, Fangshan, Tongzhou and Daxing. Meanwhile, the city will crack down on any violations of air pollution laws, Wang said.

Another key project is to clean up 27 rivers with smelly and contaminated water, Wang said. In the next three years, more effort will be given to prevent direct drainage of polluted water and enhance the ability to dispose of such pollution.

Moreover, new parks will be built on 400 hectares of land in urban areas, and trees will be planted on more than 10,000 hectares of land in rural areas.

Cao Jinzhen, a deputy of the Haidian delegation and a professor at Beijing Forestry University, said air quality control is the priority for the municipal government.

"I suggest more importance be attached to water pollution and soil contamination before it is too late. Prevention is more crucial than cleaning up," Cao said, adding that the city should also take comprehensive measures to properly dispose of trash that will contaminate rivers and land.

Wang said in his report that the city will perfect the system for garbage classification and recycling renewable resources this year. "Trash from kitchens and construction sites will be severely controlled and 56 percent of trash will be recycled," he said.