The Mongolian government has decided to ban the burning of low-grade coal in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar from 1 April, 2019 in order to decrease air-pollution. Ulaanbaatar is one of the world’s most polluted cities and also one of the coldest, where the poorest residents are forced to burn wood, cheap coal and sometimes even rubbish as temperatures plunge below minus 40 Celsius (minus 40 Fahrenheit) in winter.
Ulaanbaatar has previously focused on rehousing the ger district residents into apartments with access to the heating grid. The government now plans to connect existing homes to city utilities and provide alternative heating methods such as establishing coal processing plant, supporting heater and gas. These actions are expected to decrease air pollution in Ulaanbaatar by 50 percent.
A total of 214,000 homes in ger districts burn annually over a million tonnes of coal. Mongolia is planning to produce 300 thousand tonnes of processed fuel this year; each 100 thousand tonnes from Thermal Power Plant-II, the Mega Power Plant in Tolgot and the Power Plant in the Eastern District.