BEIJING, Jan 14 (Reuters) - China's state planning agency has ordered the city of Shanghai and the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong to draw up plans to reduce coal consumption in a bid to improve air quality, according to a policy document released on Wednesday.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a notice posted on its website (www.ndrc.gov.cn) that the regions had been ordered to set targets by June this year.
China has named the vast manufacturing hub of the Yangtze river delta, which includes Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shanghai, as one of its three main pollution control regions, along with the Pearl river delta, another major economic heartland that covers Guangdong.
The third region of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei has already set targets to cut coal use. Beijing will cut consumption by 12 million tonnes from 2013-2017, Tianjin by 20 million and Hebei by 40 million.
China's coal-dominated energy mix has been identified as one of the major causes of the hazardous smog that frequently shrouds big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, as well as a big source of climate-warming greenhouse gases.
The country aims to bring the share of coal in total energy consumption down to below 62 percent by 2020.
According to the outgoing head of the country's energy administration, Wu Xinxiong, the share fell to 64.2 percent in 2014 from 66 percent at the end of 2013.
It is expected to include a nationwide coal consumption cap of 4.2 billion tonnes in its next five-year plan covering the 2016-2020 period, but it is unclear if the target will be binding.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Alan Raybould)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.