Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the government will "declare war" on smog by taking high-emission vehicles off the road and closing coal-fired plants.
Pollution is "nature's red-light warning against the model of inefficient and blind development," Li said on Wednesday in what is China's equivalent of the State of the Union address.
China is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, with the U.S. coming in second.
"Fostering a sound ecological environment is vital for people's lives and the future of our nation," Li said.
In recent weeks, the U.S. has vowed to make climate change and greenhouse gas emissions a priority in diplomatic efforts. China and the U.S. will be prominent players in achieving a substantial treaty at the 2015 Paris climate talks.