Globe and mail: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/authors/emma-graney/ EMMA GRANEY, ENERGY REPORTER
Lower speed limits, occasional restrictions on car access to city centres and cheaper or free public transportation would quickly cut millions of barrels of daily oil demand, helping avoid a looming supply crunch as the world heads into peak consumption season, according to an international energy watchdog.
Taking such steps would also reduce the pain at gas pumps around the world, lessen the economic damage wrought by Russia's war in Ukraine, shrink Moscow's hydrocarbon revenues and help move demand for crude toward more sustainable alternatives, the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) said Friday.
The IEA's recommendations, part of a push to curtail reliance on Russian oil, come as the West continues to squeeze Moscow's economy with a series of increasingly strict sanctions. The IEA warned earlier this week that those sanctions and a general reluctance to purchase Russian crude and refined products could wipe three million barrels a day from global supplies. And that, it said, could further raise oil prices, drive up inflation and undercut the global economic recovery.
To help ease supply strain and keep prices in check, the IEA recommends that advanced economies take 10 specific, immediate steps - mainly centred on transportation - that it says would lower oil demand by 2.7 million barrels a day within four months. That's equivalent to the demand of all the cars in China.
The steps include lowering highway speed limits by 10 kilometres an hour, encouraging more working from home, placing occasional limits on car access to city centres, making public transportation cheaper or even free, and promoting greater use of high-speed rail and virtual meetings instead of air travel..
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