Decreased speed limits, teleworking, and more, proposed by IAE to combat oil prices

Image of petrol station pumps. image: creative commons 2.0

International Energy Agency (IEA) proposed decreasing speed limits, teleworking, and more, to combat rising oil prices

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has today, Friday, March 18, presented its ‘war economy’ proposals. These are designed to reduce oil consumption in the face of the threat of a supply collapse that the IEA itself considers more than likely.

Among the most significant restrictions proposed by the agency based in Paris, France, are the reduction of speed limits, the promotion of teleworking, and decreeing one day a week without cars.

If these measures were fully applied in the developed world from now on, the agency believes that the demand for oil could be reduced by 2.7 million barrels per day. The question is whether economies can afford, after a pandemic, more squeezes that in turn contract consumption.

“Another way to help balance the market and reduce the pain caused by high oil prices is to lower demand”, says the IEA. A reduction in consumption in the short term can be driven by actions of governments and citizens they claim, particularly from advanced economies, which account for about 45 per cent of global oil demand.

Similar restrictions were implemented during the oil crisis of the 1970s, but with little success. In those years, rationing in oil consumption, with restrictions on refuelling according to license plates, only served to further constrain economies. Other measures though, such as limiting the size of cars, or eliminating rear-wheel drive,  did save fuel.

Changes and restrictions on the use of the car would mean a saving of more than 2 million barrels. Those linked to the promotion of teleworking and the limitation of business trips would allow consumption to be reduced by around 700,000 barrels.

Specifically, the IEA proposes reducing speed limits on highways by at least 10kph (as Zapatero‘s government did in 2011), as well as introducing “car-free Sundays” in cities. They also want to promote the use of sharing cars, and restrict access by car to large cities based on license plate numbers. These combined actions could reduce oil consumption by about another 1.5 million barrels per day.

The IAE also contemplates making the use of public transport cheaper, and encouraging micromobility, walking, and cycling. These would allow consumption to be cut by some 300,000 barrels of crude oil. Promoting the efficient driving of cargo and goods delivery vehicles could save another 300,000 barrels.

Teleworking at least three days a week would save some 400,000 barrels, including the effect of reducing the impact of using car air conditioners in summer.

Avoiding business travel is also recommended, which could save around 300,000 barrels a day. Using high-speed overnight trains instead of planes would save around 100,000 barrels a day. In addition, the IEA calculates that reinforcing the adoption of electric and more efficient vehicles would mean a reduction of another 100,000 barrels of oil per day, as reported by larazon.es.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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