Energy watchdog suggests dropping highway speed limits, working from home to reduce oil demand

Group says various proposals could reduce oil consumption by millions of barrels a day.

Updated: March 19, 2022 - 10:08am

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A major energy watchdog group said this week that a slate of proposals it has developed could, if implemented, reduce global daily oil demand to the equivalent of taking all the cars in China off the road.

The International Energy Agency said in a report released on Friday that if authorities reduced speed limits on highways by roughly six miles per hour and if business leaders allowed employees to "work from home up to three days a week where possible," such measures could help contribute to a sharp decline in daily oil demand across the globe. 

The group also suggested "car-free Sundays in cities," "using high-speed and night trains instead of planes where possible," and "mak[ing] the use of public transport cheaper and incentivise micromobility, walking and cycling."

"If fully carried out in advanced economies," the group said, "the measures ... would lower oil demand by 2.7 million barrels a day within four months — equivalent to the oil demand of all the cars in China."