The International Energy Agency (IEA) is urging governments to implement a ten-point strategy to reduce oil demand.
It claims that the world is on the verge of an emergency as a result of the conflict in Ukraine and impending sanctions against Russia, a major oil producer.
Other countries’ capacity to expand oil output is limited, and the IEA believes that cutting consumption will help to balance the market and bring prices down.
The first suggestion is that governments lower speed limits by at least 10 kilometers per hour, claiming that this will have a major influence on consumption.
It also advocates for the right to work from home for up to three days a week, car-free Sundays in cities, and the promotion of active transportation like as walking and cycling.
Other ideas include alternate private car access in big cities, such as allowing only cars with odd or even numbered registration plates on specific days, and encouraging people to carpool.
Reduced empty travel and training in eco-driving techniques are also suggested by the agency as ways to promote more efficient driving for freight trucks and delivery vehicles.
It encourages people to avoid unnecessary business travel by taking high-speed trains or night trains instead of flying.
The ten-point plan’s final recommendation is for governments to take steps to encourage the adoption of electric and other fuel-efficient automobiles.
Some of the ideas, such as lowering speed limits, cheaper public transportation, and promoting cycling and e-scooters, are more applicable for Ireland than others, according to Professor Andrew Keane, Director of the Energy Institute at University College Dublin.
“All of the acts are related to transportation,” Prof Keane told RTÉ’s News at One. “This really emphasizes how transportation is still very much hooked to oil.”
“Recommendations for public transportation are appreciated, but the availability and quality of public transportation will be a crucial issue.
“In this country, we’ve been hesitant to see legislation for e-scooters put in place, but they can play a substantial role, at least in a city setting.”
Prof. Keane stated that while some of the measures are for the national government to legislate, local governments also have a role to play.
“There’s also a role for developing public awareness,” he said, “so that individual citizens can realize that they can take some actions – albeit little steps in certain situations – to lower their own oil usage and hence their energy expenditures.”