As one of the largest consumers of coal energy, Beijing has experienced a steady increase in air pollution and illnesses linked to it. Concerns about soil contamination have also been mentioned as the main motivation for enacting a ban.
Municipal Protection Environmental Bureau posted an announcement on its website Monday declaring that Beijing would no longer use coal as a source of energy.
With the recent boom in China’s manufacturing and energy sectors, there has been a sharp increase in the amount of pollution in the air, soil, and water.
This situation has officials worried that there will be a serious crisis ahead, if there are not precautions taken.
Although experts are doubtful that a complete ban will be successful, there are indications that China’s sector of middle class people are growing weary of the increasing levels of pollution. There has been a spike in illness, especially for people who live in close proximity to manufacturing facilities and industrial power plants.
According to a report by the Xinhua News Agency, about 25 percent of Beijing’s energy use in 2012 was from coal energy. It is also estimated that coal particles accounted for 22 percent of the air pollution in Beijing in the same year.
Government officials have already made it known to its leaders that increasing its environmental standards and lowering pollution is a top priority.
The decision to have a ban on coal by 2020 comes on the heels of another law passed last September which outlaws the use of coal-fired power plants around Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Other sources of air pollution in these densely-populated cities include automobiles, manufacturing, industrial production, and naturally occurring dust.
Renewable sources of energy such as water, solar and wind energy are steadily becoming more popular with businesses and individuals alike but it remains to be seen if there will be hold outs who wish to continue using coal beyond the year 2020.