Heavy smog continued to shroud some parts of Beijing and neighboring Hebei province on Sunday, meteorological authorities said, forecasting the pollution to be dispersed Monday as a cold front influences.
The density of PM2.5, particulate matter measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter, ranged between 130 to 241 micrograms per cubic meter on Sunday morning in Beijing, according to the National Meteorological Center.
Beijing is aiming to keep average PM2.5 levels below 60 micrograms per cubic meter in 2017. In 2015, the level was 80.6 micrograms, down from 95.7 micrograms in 2012.X Some parts in Hebei and Shanxi provinces also saw medium smog on Sunday.
Despite government efforts to fight pollution, frequent outbreaks of smog have become increasingly common in winter in northern China where cold weather conditions and the burning of coal for heating combine to exacerbate the situation.
In a five-year plan on environmental improvements released Dec. 5, the State Council ordered strict controls on the consumption of coal, a major source of pollution in China.
Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, the Pearl River and Yangtze River delta regions, and the 10 cities with the worst air quality must all see a reduction in coal consumption, according to the plan.
More use of clean energy in winter heating in north China has been stressed, according to a statement after a latest conference by the Central Leading Group on Finance and Economic Affairs.