According to Reuters, China’s energy administration announced that they will close nearly 1800 small-scale coal mines over the course of 2014. The move is, in no doubt, response to several major cities within China being hit by multi-day series of smog and extreme air pollution. The air pollution is many times the level considered to be safe by the World Health Organization. China, whose reliance on coal is nearly 80% of its electricity generation, will need to start looking elsewhere for safer and clean sources of energy.
The small scale mine closures are part of a plan to decrease coal to 65% of China’s energy mix by the end of the year. Combined with India, China’s use of coal has driven Asia to pass North America as the world’s leading continent for carbon dioxide emissions.