BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- A government action plan on air pollution has achieved better-than-expected results, an official said Wednesday, as authorities have taken serious efforts to address the issue.
The plan, released by the State Council in 2013, aimed to cut the density of inhalable particulate matter in major cities by at least 10 percent from the level of 2012 by 2017.
Liu Youbin, spokesperson with the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), said the average density of PM 10 in Chinese cities went down 22.7 percent last year compared with the 2013 level.
PM 2.5, a key indicator of air pollution, fell by 39.6 percent from 2013 in Beijing and surrounding provincial areas by 2017. The Yangtze Delta and the Pearl River Delta regions saw reductions of 34.3 percent and 27.7 percent, respectively, all beating the targets set in the action plan.
Liu also pointed out breakthroughs in industrial, energy, and transport structure, with the 45 major tasks in the action plan accomplished as scheduled.
The ratio of coal consumption in China's primary energy use fell from 67.4 percent to around 60 percent, while some 20 million polluting vehicles were taken off the roads.
Liu said the MEP will work with other agencies to formulate a three-year plan to win the battle against pollution.
Tackling pollution has been listed as one of "the three tough battles" that China aims to win in the next three years, according to the Central Economic Work Conference in December.