BEIJING (Reuters) -
** The municipal government of Beijing will advance its anti-smog campaign this year to provide 450 villages with clean fuel for heating, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.
**The Chinese capital has so far wiped out coal use at 974,000 households in 2,237 villages, cutting coal use by 2.9 million tonnes during a typical heating season
**The city government aims to achieve “coal-free” status for low-lying areas by the end of 2018, replacing coal with gas or electricty
**Scattered coal burning for winter heating at rural villages is a key source of air pollution. Beijing is the world’s second-largest consumer of natural gas by city after Moscow
Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Stephen Coates