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China releases 2020-2021 air pollution action plan for Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and Fen-Wei plains

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China on November 3 released the action plan for tackling air pollution in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and Fen-Wei plains during autumn and winter 2020-2021. According to the action plan, China will continue to roll out performance-based management and control and strengthen joint emergency response in regions with heavy air pollution, in order to meet targets set by the 13th Five-year Plan and win the battle for "blue skies".

To effectively beat air pollution, the plan calls for performance-based and differentiated emission reduction. In principle, Class-A companies and leading enterprises can make their own choices on measures taken to cut emission, while other companies should cut emission strictly in accordance with guidance. Additional works include a list of companies required to cut emission and the implementation of heavy air pollution emergency response and joint emergency response.

The action plan also promotes the replacement of coal with clean energy for heating. Before the 2020 heating season arrives, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and its surrounding areas and Fen-Wei plains would basically become coal-free zone, under the premise of sufficient energy supply. Furthermore, China will implement stricter control on straw burning, take strict precautions against the return of small, poorly managed and polluting companies, and push ahead with extra-low emission reform of iron and steel industry in an orderly manner.