South Korea wants to combat dangerously high levels of fine dust pollution and plans to temporarily shut down up to a quarter of its coal-fired power plants this month, reported The Guardian. The ministry of energy decided that 14 plants will not be in operation between December and February. In March as many as 27 plants will be idled. The ministry added that this will not affect energy supplies during the coldest months of the year. Other plants will maintain their power output at 80 percent of capacity, depending on demand.
South Korea’s 60 coal-fired power plants tend to generate 40 percent of its electricity. However, burning coal has worsened air pollution and record-high concentrations of hazardous PM 2.5 particles were observed earlier this year.
The World Health Organisation has warned that air pollution poses a major public health risk due to its links with a host of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses.