January 28, 2018 / 8:41 AM / a year ago

Beijing city to take clean fuel drive to another 450 villages

FILE PHOTO: Smoke is seen from a chimney in Altay, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) -

** The municipal government of Beijing will advance its anti-smog campaign this year to provide 450 villages with clean fuel for heating, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

**The Chinese capital has so far wiped out coal use at 974,000 households in 2,237 villages, cutting coal use by 2.9 million tonnes during a typical heating season

**The city government aims to achieve “coal-free” status for low-lying areas by the end of 2018, replacing coal with gas or electricty

**Scattered coal burning for winter heating at rural villages is a key source of air pollution. Beijing is the world’s second-largest consumer of natural gas by city after Moscow

Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Stephen Coates

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