In March 2019, the Mongolian government decided to totally ban the use of raw coal in capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Since then, air-pollution in Ulaanbaatar has decreased visibly. According to official data, the levels of harmful microscopic particulate matter – known as PM 2.5 – in the air decreased by nearly 60 percent during winter months of 2019-2020 from the previous year.
Officials from the Ulaanbaatar Metropolitan Specialized Inspection Agency and the Air Pollution Reduction Department have been working to control implementation of the Government decision on banning raw coal usage from 1 October, 2019 to 1 April, 2020.
Smoke from the shantytown ger districts, where over 220,000 families live – or half the population of the capital – has long been identified as the main culprit of Ulaanbaatar’s chronic air-pollution. In the light of the ban, the government has put an alternative product on the market made from semi-coke, a by-product of coal.