As European and other countries are grappling with the impacts of the war in Ukraine on Russia-controlled gas and oil supplies, the International Energy Agency has published a ten point plan to reduce global oil demand. Reducing demand would ease the situation more quickly and cheaply than many alternatives, such as construction of new nuclear power plants as mooted by the Westminster government. It also avoids striking unpalatable deals with dictators of other oil-rich countries and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Reduce speed limits on highways by at least 10 km/h
- Work from home up to three days a week where possible
- Car-free Sundays in cities
- Make public transport cheaper and incentivise walking and cycling
- Alternate private car access to roads in large cities (eg every other day)
- Increase car sharing and adopt practices to reduce fuel use
- Promote efficient driving for freight trucks and delivery of goods
- Using high-speed and night trains instead of planes
- Avoid business air travel where alternative options exist
- Reinforce the adoption of electric and more efficient vehicles
The IEA estimates that these measures would allow the world to cut its oil usage by 2.7m barrels per day within four months – equivalent to more than half of Russia’s exports.