March 27, 2016 - 9:35 PM EDT
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China puts brakes on new coal mine plants in 15 provinces until 2018

Bangkok Desk, Mar 28 (EFE).-

has suspended the construction of new coal-fired plants in 15 provinces in a bid to reduce pollution under
clean air action plan.

The State Council aims to reduce the surplus in electricity generation capacity by slashing the burning of some 500 million tons of coal over the next five years.

The planned construction of coal production plants provinces including

, and
Inner Mongolia
, were shut down on Monday by the National Energy Administration, local online news BJX reports.

The decision comes just a few months after the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was negotiated in December 2015 to limit global warming.

had declared a moratorium on coal, which over the past few decades has been an important part of its energy mix, supplying fuel for over two-thirds of its energy generation, but now faces shrinking domestic demand, according to state broadcaster Xinhua.

Burning coal is the largest manmade source of carbon dioxide emissions globally, and the formerly 'coal-addicted'

vowed at COP21 to close a total of 1,000 coal plants, according to Greenpeace International.

"These drastic changes send another signal that the Chinese government is serious about tackling coal's impact on worsening air quality in big cities," said the environmental watchdog in a statement on its website.

The Xi Jinping administration last year was forced to issue a series of red alerts for smog in eastern

, which could be seen from NASA's Suomi NPP satellite, creating health hazards that have spurred on the new clean air measures.


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Source: News (March 27, 2016 - 9:35 PM EDT)

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