As strategies to defeat Putin’s invasion of Ukraine goes, it’s certainly novel.
The European Union (EU) is asking citizens to use less Russian energy by driving less, turning down their air conditioning, and working from home three days a week.
By following these steps, individuals living in the EU could save around £375 a year – while also helping to reduce reliance on Russian energy.
The strategy was drawn up by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which noted that buying Russian energy is helping Putin finance his war in Ukraine.
With Europe unable to switch to alternative supplies in the near term, reducing demand is the most logical step.
Within the nine-point “Playing My Part” plan, the EU wants its citizens to drive less by using public transport or working from home three days a week.
The plan also calls on EU citizens to heat their homes less in the winter and cool them with air conditioning less in the summer months.
We can reduce energy use by driving more slowly on highways, with the air conditioning in cars turned down.
The EU also wants people to use trains instead of flying, and travel by public transport, walking or cycling.
EU cities should promote more ‘car-free Sundays’, which are already in place in some parts of the continent.
Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said:
“Faced with the horrendous scenes of human suffering that we’ve seen following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, people in Europe want to take action.
“This guide has easy-to-follow steps that with little or no discomfort on our part can reduce the flow of money to Russia’s military and help put us on a path to a cleaner and more sustainable planet.”
If every EU citizen followed the recommendations in the report, 220 million barrels of oil would be saved each year, the equivalent of 120 supertankers.
Using less energy in this way would also save 17 billion cubic meters of gas, which is enough to heat almost 20 million homes.