IEA reveals 10-point plan to rapidly reduce oil demand

In the face of the emerging global energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, concrete actions by governments and citizens in advanced economies and beyond can lead to significant reductions in oil demand in a matter of minutes. months, reducing the risk of a major supply crisis, according to an analysis published by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

These efforts would reduce the price pain felt by consumers around the world, mitigate economic damage, reduce Russia’s hydrocarbon revenues and help shift oil demand towards a more sustainable path.

If fully implemented in advanced economies, the measures recommended by the IEA’s new 10-point plan to reduce oil consumption would reduce oil demand by 2.7 million BOPD in four months, the equivalent of oil demand of all cars in China. This would significantly reduce potential tensions at a time when a large amount of Russian supplies may no longer reach the market and the peak demand season of July and August is approaching. The measures would have an even greater effect if they were also adopted in part or in full in emerging economies.

The report includes recommendations for decisions to be taken now by governments and citizens to move from the short-term emergency actions included in the 10-point plan to sustainable measures that would drive countries’ oil demand into a compatible structural decline. with a trajectory towards net zero emissions by 2050.

Since the majority of oil demand comes from transportation, the IEA’s plan focuses on how to use less oil to get people and goods from point A to point B, by s based on concrete measures that have already been implemented in a wide range of countries and cities. Short-term actions he proposes include reducing the amount of oil consumed by cars through lower speed limits, working from home, occasional restrictions on car access to city centers, to cheaper public transit, more carpooling and other initiatives — and greater use of high-speed rail and virtual meetings instead of air travel.

“Due to 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,” he said. said IEA executive director Fatih Birol, who launched the plan at a press conference. with Barbara Pompili, the Minister for the Ecological Transition of France, who currently holds the presidency of the European Union.

“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 crisis,” Birol said. “Our 10-point plan shows that this can be done through measures that have already been tried and tested in several countries.”

“France and all European countries must get out of their dependence on fossil fuels, in particular Russian fossil fuels, as quickly as possible,” said Pompili. “It is an absolute necessity, for the climate but also for our energy sovereignty. The plan proposed today by the IEA offers some interesting ideas, some of which are in line with our own ideas for reducing our dependence on oil.

Advanced economies account for nearly half of global oil demand. Many of them, including the largest energy consumers, are required as members of the IEA to prepare oil demand restriction plans as part of their response measures. ’emergency.

Most of the actions proposed in the plan would require changes in consumer behavior, backed by government measures. How and if these actions are implemented depends on the specific circumstances of each country, in terms of energy markets, transport infrastructure, social and political dynamics, and other aspects.

Ultimately, however, reducing oil demand does not depend solely on national governments. Many of these measures can be implemented directly by other levels of government, such as state, regions or local authorities, or simply followed voluntarily by citizens and businesses, saving them money. money while showing solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

The IEA report notes that reducing oil consumption should not remain a temporary measure. Sustainable reductions are important not only to improve countries’ energy security, but also to combat climate change and reduce air pollution. Governments have all the tools they need to drive down demand for oil in the years to come, and the report sets out key tools to achieve this goal, including accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles, raising fuel standards fuel economy, stimulating the supply of alternative fuels. , accelerating the deployment of heat pumps and producing and consuming plastic in a more sustainable way.

The 10 key actions reports are

  • Reduce speed limits on highways by at least 10 km/h—This would save approximately 290,000 BOPDs used by cars and an additional 140,000 BOPDs by trucks.
  • Work from home up to 3 days a week if possible—One day a week saves around 170,000 BOPD; three days saves about 500,000 BOPD.
  • Car-free Sundays in cities—Every Sunday saves about 380,000 BOPD; one Sunday per month saves 95,000 BOPD.
  • Make using public transport cheaper and encourage micromobility, walking and cycling—This would save around 330,000 BOPD
  • Alternative private car access to major city roads—This would save approximately 210,000 BOPD.
  • Increase carpooling and adopt practices to reduce fuel consumption—This would save approximately 470,000 BOPD.
  • Promoting Efficient Driving for Freight Trucks and Cargo Delivery—This would save approximately 320,000 BOPD.
  • Use high-speed and night trains instead of planes whenever possible—This would save around 40,000 BOPD.
  • Avoid business air travel where other options exist—This would save approximately 260,000 BOPD.
  • Boost the adoption of electric and more efficient vehicles—This would save around 100,000 BOPD.

These effects are short-term and reflect implementation in advanced economies where possible and culturally acceptable.
Read the report here.

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Felix J. Dixon