Emergency measures can quickly reduce global oil demand by 2.7 million barrels per day, reducing the risk of a damaging supply crisis – News

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 a new analysis released today by the International Energy Agency.

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 new IEA report 10-point plan to reduce oil consumption would reduce oil demand by 2.7 million barrels per day in four months, equivalent to the 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 new report also includes recommendations on what governments and citizens need to do now to move from the short-term emergency actions included in the 10 point diet sustainable measures that would lead to a structural decline in countries’ demand for oil, in line with a trajectory towards net zero emissions by 2050.

Since the majority of oil demand comes from transportation, the IEA agency 10 point diet focuses on how to use less oil to transport people and goods from point A to point B, building on concrete measures that have already been implemented in a wide range of countries and of 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 Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, which is launching the Plan during a press conference today with Barbara Pompili, the French Minister for Ecological Transition, 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,” Dr Birol said. “Our 10 point diet 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 as quickly as possible, in particular Russian fossil fuels,” said Minister 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 10 point diet would require changes in consumer behavior, supported by government action. 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.

The IEA stands ready to assist all countries in designing and optimizing measures appropriate to their respective circumstances. Government regulations and mandates have proven to be very effective in successfully implementing these measures in various countries and cities, combined with public information and awareness campaigns.

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 oil demand 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.

Steve R. Hansen