China has regulated use of cleaner fuel for heating in north China, where coal burning in winter is a major source of pollution.
In the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and nearby areas, 28 cities will now use only natural gas, electricity and renewable energy for heating.
Other regions in the north should phase out the use of inferior coal, which is widely used in rural areas due to its low cost.
Smog is still a very severe problem in winter in northern China. Coal accounts for more than 60 percent of China's primary energy consumption, much higher than the world average, and in the north, the ratio is around 80 percent.
The share of non-fossil energy is to rise to 15 percent by 2020 and 20 percent by 2030. Coal consumption will be limited to less than 58 percent of energy use by 2020.