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Beijing to spend 16.5 billion yuan for cleaner air

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A motorbike rider falls down on an ice-covered highway in Shaoguan, south China's Guangdong province on January 23, 2016. Much of China shivered on January 23 as a teeth-chattering cold snap broke decades-old records and snow fell in some parts for the first time in years, cancelling flights and forcing many indoors. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO

Beijing: Beijing will earmark 16.5 billion yuan ($2.57 billion) to improve air quality in 2016, sources with the Beijing environment authorities said on Sunday.

The funds will be used to cut back on coal use and eliminate outmoded vehicles in the capital, Xinhua reported. The average density of PM2.5, airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, in Beijing last year declined by 6.2 percent year on year, statistics with the Beijing Environment Protection Bureau show.

Beijing aims for a year-on-year drop of five percent in its average PM2.5 reading in 2016. The city government has promised to remove 200,000 high-emission vehicles from the roads and promote the use of clean energy in 400 villages this year.