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Do your bit

11 March, 2022

Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas and the third largest oil producer in the world. In light of recent events, the need to transition to net zero has gained even greater urgency.  

In the past few days over 6,000 businesses have signed an open letter calling for a speedier green transition to strengthen energy security. Plans are in place to accelerate the rollout of renewable energy, biofuels and hydrogen as part of the EU’s Green Deal policy with the UK looking towards similar long-term plans. However, this kind of transition – which requires policy shifts and system change – will take time.  

But do not despair. There is a short-term solution, one that can curb Putin’s power and reduce emissions, and that businesses and individuals can have a huge influence on: using less energy. Doing this brings clear environmental benefits, but the economics of energy reduction are changing fast, and those plans that didn’t look commercially attractive a year ago may well be worth revisiting.   

The IEA suggests that accelerating energy efficiency improvements in buildings and industry would reduce gas use by close to 2 billion cubic metres within a year. While measures such as producing reusable packaging can save vast amounts of energy and reduce waste.  

If every individual in the EU reduced their household thermostat by 1 °C this would reduce gas use by 10 billion cubic metres, while simple changes to your driving behaviour could drastically cut petrol consumption. Energy and fuel prices will continue to soar in the coming months, so you can add financial benefits alongside the moral and environmental reasons to cut your energy usage.   

Turning down your thermostat might not be the most traditional call to arms, but it’s one we’re fully on board with. And for anyone running a business, revisit those energy reduction plans and work out where investment will be money well spent, on all fronts.  

By Jessie Smith

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