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Beijing struggles to reduce carbon emissions

(Xinhua)

14:33, February 29, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- With 350 million tonnes of coal burned a year in pan-Beijing area, it is difficult for Beijing to fulfill its goal of reducing air pollution, officials and political advisors have said ahead of China's pending legislative sessions.

Meng Wei, head of the Chinese Institute of Environmental Sciences and a longtime low-carbon advocator, said Beijing should establish a "common goal" with its neighbors in Hebei province and Tianjin municipality for reducing pollution.

The Ministry of Environment is mulling a recent proposal submitted by the Beijing Bureau of Environmental Protection, asking the ministry to set up a special organization to help coordinate Beijing, Hebei and Tianjin to reduce coal-burning by 10 percent by 2015, with 15-percent cut expected by 2015.

"Officials and experts have been talking for years about a synchronous air pollution control mechanism in the Pan-Beijing area. This proposal is the first official step toward that goal," said Li Kunsheng, an official with the Beijing Bureau of Environmental Protection.

Li said the pollution control mechanism will require local environmental departments to roll out stricter pollution standards for local thermal power plants, coal-fired heaters and steelmakers.

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