• China's coal mining industry is the major cause of the severe air pollution in the country.

China's coal mining industry is the major cause of the severe air pollution in the country. (Photo : Getty Images)

About 650,000 people who are residents of the central province of Shanxi will be moved due to the unsafe living conditions brought about by almost 100 former pits in the area. The government estimated that the damage is $11 billion or 77 billion yuan.

The cost of relocation alone is estimated at $2.37 billion.

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Wang Junqi, a local resident, said, "We haven't been told to leave yet, but when the government gives us the order, we'll be happy to go. It isn't safe here and the people who have a bit of money have already gone. It's scary, but what can we do?"

The Communist Party reported that there are 19 geological "disaster zones" located in 23 villages. There have been 55 landslides, 950 cracks in the ground and 808 incidents of mine subsidence in an area of 13.25 square kilometers or 5 square miles.

The land ministry released data that showed mining caused 26,000 geological disasters by the end of 2014 which covers 10,000 square kilometers of land.

China's consumption of coal energy is massive. About two-thirds of the country's energy rely on coal.

However, the government wants to reduce coal production by 62 percent in 2020. They are now slowly shifting to new sources of energy.

In a report, the government stated that the consumption of coal in 2015 has decreased by 3.7 percent. Solar energy use has increased to 74 percent and wind energy now produces 37 percent of the country's power.

China is the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide produced by the coal plants. The huge problem of air pollution and smog is caused by the emissions produced by coal burning.

The government is encouraging solar producing plants to use the abandoned mining sites.

He Xin, a project manager with the United Photovoltaics Group which runs a solar power plant, said, "Before we got here this piece of land wasn't suitable for any kind of planting, but now at least some of it can be used."