The government of Beijing proposed a series of new measures Tuesday to fight pollution, which hit record levels in recent days and is once again threatening public health in China's capital.

The use of clean energy vehicles by government departments and the public will be promoted, acting Mayor Wang Anshun told the city council.

Officials will replace nearly 44,000 heaters that burn coal with more environmentally friendly equipment in downtown Beijing, Wang said.

The city will remove nearly 180,000 obsolete vehicles from circulation, the acting mayor said.

Officials also plan to promote the use of clean energy in rural areas near the capital and to regulate dust emissions at construction sites, Wang said.

Beijing's government plans to cut the use of coal, which is a major source of air pollution, by some 1.4 million tons and to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds by 8,000 tons, the acting mayor said.

Nearly 450 factories that emit pollutants will be closed, city officials said.

A Greenpeace report said about 8,500 premature deaths were caused by air pollution in Beijing, Shanghai, Canton and Xian in 2012. EFE