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China to Ban Coal Use in 6 Beijing Districts by 2020

FILE - The cooling towers and chimneys from a coal-burning power station in a newly constructed residential area in Beijing.

China says coal fired power plants in six main districts of Beijing will be phased out.

The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau on Monday said Beijing will ban coal sales and coal fired power plants in the districts of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan by the end of 2020.

The announcement is part of an effort to improve dismal air quality in the Chinese capital.

According to the official Chinese news service Xinhua, "coal use accounted for 25.4 percent of the capital's energy consumption in 2012." The figure is expected to shrink to less than 10 percent by 2017.