Chinese Minister of Ecology and Environment Li Ganjie speaks at a news conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing, China March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) – China expanded its coal-to-gas and coal-to-electricity projects to 35 cities in 2018 from 12 cities the previous year, China’s environment minister, Li Ganjie, said on Monday, as the world’s second-largest economy stepped up its fight against smog.

Li told journalists at a press conference on the sidelines of China’s annual parliament meeting that 4.8 million households switched to natural gas and electricity from coal for heating last year.

That was up from 4 million households that were switched in 2017, said Li.

Reporting 2018 Meng Meng in Beijing; Writing 2018 Chen Aizhu in Singapore; Editing 2018 Tom Hogue

Heard from feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/fm3Wwgnnovg/china-switched-4-8-million-homes-to-gas-electricity-from-coal-in-2018-environment-chief-says-idUSKBN1QS0QB

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