BEIJING, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese authorities on Wednesday released an action plan for air pollution control in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and nearby areas, setting specific targets for the autumn and winter seasons.
The average density of PM2.5, fine particulate matter that causes smog, should drop 4 percent year on year from Oct. 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, according to the plan jointly released by several government agencies including the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.
The number of days with severe pollution should fall by 6 percent, said the plan.
Despite the improvement in air quality, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and nearby areas still face a grim situation in autumn and winter, during which the PM2.5 density usually doubles that in other seasons, according to the action plan.
Due to the El Nino effect, weather conditions this year require stronger measures to offset the negative impacts, as 2020 is a crucial year for China to win the battle for blue skies, the plan stressed.
Among the mandatory targets listed for local regions, Hebei Province is required to cut 14 million tonnes of steel capacity, 3 million tonnes of coke capacity and 1 million tonnes of cement capacity.
The plan also called for efforts to accelerate adjustment of the energy structure by effectively pushing clean heating and controlling coal consumption.
More efforts should be made to improve emergency plans to cope with air pollution, step up monitoring, and increase financing and policy support to treat pollution, according to the plan.
China released a three-year action plan on air pollution control in 2018, stating that by 2020, emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide should drop by more than 15 percent compared with 2015 levels.