An energy crisis has hit Europe and the people of Europe are going to have to reduce their standard of living. The European Union is asking citizens to drive less to turn down their heat and air conditioning as much as possible and to work from home up to three days a week. These measures are meant to reduce need for more energy since energy prices are skyrocketing and Europe is now dependent upon America for excess energy.
In order to reduce the amount of energy that has to be imported in the form of natural gas, the European Union has asked citizens to reduce their energy needs. Some specific suggestions were to heat homes less in winter, turn air conditioning down in the summer, drive slowly on highways with the car air conditioning down or off, use the train instead of flying, and to travel by public transport or on a bicycle. It is also pushing something called car free Sundays.
Interestingly enough this is something that goes along with the IEA 10-point plan to reduce global oil demand. The International Energy Agency had a 10-point plan which included driving slowly, turning down the air conditioning, car free Sundays, and working from home. The International Energy Agency though said that this would help reduce the demand for global oil 100 million barrels per day which in turn would ease the sky-high oil prices that are currently hurting consumers. Some other suggestions were cheaper public transport. Some places in America don’t even have public transport so many of these suggestions have no bearing here in North America in order to reduce energy globally.
Of course, most of the European Union is framing this reduction and the standard of living for its citizens. It was a massive humanitarian human effort to help reduce the difficulties in Eastern Europe. It says that if every citizen followed these recommendations, it could reduce the amount of oil used every year by 220 million barrels which in turn is enough to fill 120 super tankers from the United States. It would also save 17 billion cubic meters of gas which is enough to heat 20 million homes.
Even though the European Union has plans to reduce the needs for their citizens energy, the German energy minister Christian Lindner told the BBC that it would be impossible to stop oil imports immediately. The report also recommends that citizens invest in home insulation digital thermostats and digital cars with the aim of reducing the fossil fuel use in Europe.
“All these measures, they can be voluntary contributions,” said Leonore Gewessler, Austria’s environment minister. “But they need political action to underpin them.”
There have been some measures taken already. Austria has cut all fares on public transportation to three euros per day and Austria has introduced a program to help low-income households replace inefficient appliances. The UK has announced it would be tightening sanctions on non-energy goods from Eastern Europe. The department of international trade said it would ramp up taxes on exports from Eastern Europe, all in the efforts to help with the difficulties in Eastern Europe, of course.