China's coal consumption falls for 3rd year in a row

China says that its coal consumption fell in 2016 for a third year in a row.

Preliminary data released Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics shows that coal consumption fell by 4.7 percent. The bureau says the share of coal in China's total energy consumption mix fell to 62 percent in 2016 from 64 percent the year before.

Coal is the biggest source of heat-trapping greenhouse gases that are the primary cause of global warming.

While China is the world's biggest consumer of coal, its consumption levels have dropped as economic growth slows to its lowest level since 1990. With its major cities gripped by choking air pollution, China has also aimed to reduce coal usage in favor of natural gas and renewable energy.