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IEA’s plan to cut oil use


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The International Energy Agency stated Friday that speed limits should be reduced by no less than 10 km/h (6.2 mph), to lower oil demand.

The Paris-based group published the recommendation as part of its larger 10-point plan.

The IEA report stated that “We believe that full implementation of these steps in advanced economies can reduce oil demand by 2.7million barrels per day within four months relative to current levels.”

According to a press release, the figure of 2.7 millions corresponds with China’s oil demand. It also stated that the measure’s effect would be amplified if they were fully adopted in emerging countries.

It comes as oil markets face significant uncertainty after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Russia is an important supplier of oil, gas and other resources. However, Russia’s actions in Ukraine has caused many economies to seek ways to decrease their dependence on Russian hydrocarbons.

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Fatih Birol was the executive director at the IEA and described the current situation in oil markets via Zoom. Birol stated that it was possible for things to get worse over the course of the next few months.

The IEA offers other recommendations to lower oil demand against this background:

  • If possible, work remotely for up to 3 days each week.
  • For cities, car-free Sundays
  • Reduce the costs of public transport, and encourage people to cycle and walk.
  • When other alternatives are available, avoid air travel when it is possible.
  • It’s possible to travel by night train or speed trains, instead of taking off on a plane.
  • This will encourage the use of “more efficient” and electric cars. Here’s the complete list can be read here.

The IEA reported that “Reducing oil usage must not be a short-term measure.” It is important to reduce oil consumption for energy security and to combat climate change.

The report stated that the governments have “all the tools necessary to reduce oil demand in the next years”, which will support efforts to strengthen energy security as well as to achieve crucial climate goals.

Although many groups are calling for a reduction in fossil fuel usage, actually reaching such an objective is difficult. For instance, most cars still drive on diesel or gasoline, and energy companies continue discovering new oil fields all around the globe.

The IEA released a statement Friday acknowledging that most of its suggestions “would require modifications in the behavior of consumers supported by government actions.”

“How and if these actions are implemented is subject to each country’s own circumstances – in terms of their energy markets, transport infrastructure, social and political dynamics and other aspects,” the IEA said.

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Barbara Pompili from France, minister of ecological transition, also spoke out about the plans for the IEA.

“France, and all European nations must end their dependency on fossil fuels in general, particularly Russian fossil fuels,” she stated.

It is a necessity for both the climate and our energy sovereignty. The IEA has presented some intriguing ideas today, many of which align with our ideas for reducing our dependency on oil.

After the publication of a new 10-point plan in 2010, the IEA report is now available. centered around reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas.