Car-free Sundays among 10-point plan to cut oil demand

Car-free Sundays among 10-point plan to cut oil demand
Reduced speed limits, home working and car-free Sundays could help to prevent a global oil crunch caused by the war in Ukraine, a report says. 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has outlined 10 measures that it believes could cut oil demand by 2.7 million barrels a day within four months. 

It’s hoped this would ease budget pressures facing drivers being squeezed by record rises in petrol and diesel costs

The IEA’s 10-point plan to reduce fuel consumption includes reducing speed limits on motorways by 6mph and introducing car-free Sundays in big cities. 

The Paris-based international energy forum, which represents 29 nations, said its proposals are “practical actions” that both governments and consumers can take straight away. 

The measures could also shrink Russia's energy revenues and help move oil demand to a "more sustainable pathway", the IEA said. 

The report comes ahead of peak oil demand season in July and August, when vehicle use in the US typically increases. 

In Britain, it’s estimated that reducing the speed limit on motorways from 70mph to 64mph could save around 290,000 barrels of oil a day from cars and 140,000 from trucks.  

Hybrid working could save 170,000 barrels for each day stayed at home, while the introduction of weekly car-free Sundays in major cities would spare around 380,000 barrels. 

World Car Free Day does already exist but is limited to one day in September. London took part in 2019, when more than 16 miles of the capital’s routes were closed to traffic. 

The IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol said: “As a result of Russia’s appalling aggression against Ukraine, the world may well be facing its biggest oil supply shock in decades, with huge implications for our economies and societies. 

“IEA member countries have already stepped in to support the global economy with an initial release of millions of barrels of emergency oil stocks, but we can also take action on demand to avoid the risk of a crippling oil crunch. 

“Our 10-point plan shows this can be done through measures that have already been tested and proven in multiple countries.” 

The IEA’s 10-point plan to cut oil use in full: 

  1. Cut speed limits by at least 10kph (6mph) 
  2. Work from home up to three days a week where possible 
  3. Car-free Sundays in cities 
  4. Cut the cost of public transport and encourage alternatives such as walking, cycling and micro-mobility (eg electric scooters) 
  5. Alternate private car access to roads in large cities, for example giving access to those with even plate numbers on some days and odd numbers on others 
  6. Increase car sharing, check tyre pressures and turn down air conditioning 
  7. Promote efficient driving for freight lorries and delivery vehicles 
  8. Use high-speed and night trains instead of planes where possible 
  9. Avoid business air travel where alternative options exist 
  10. Reinforce the switch to electric and more efficient vehicles 

Are these great ideas or would there be backlash? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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