BEIJING (AP) — China says it will ban new coal-fired power plants in three key industrial regions around Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in its latest bid to combat the country's notorious air pollution.
The action plan from the State Council announced Thursday also aims to cut the country's percentage of total primary energy use stemming from coal to below 65 percent by 2017. The U.S. government estimates that China currently gets about 70 percent of its energy from coal.
The government has come under increasing pressure from a growing middle class to clean up the country's air pollution, much of which comes from the burning of coal.
Environmental group Greenpeace welcomed the plan, saying it would significantly slow growth in coal consumption and set an important precedent that other major economies should follow.