EU calls for oil consumption to be halved by 2050

January 10th, 2009 - 5:32 am ICT by IANS  

Brussels, Jan 10 (Xinhua) European demand for oil must be reduced by over 50 percent by 2050, a European Union (EU) committee said Friday.The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative assembly within the EU, called for a massive reduction of oil demand in Europe over the next 40 years.

“The objective must be to reduce oil demand by more than 50 percent by 2050,” the EESC said.

Derek Osborn of the EESC said in order to prevent a climate change crisis and deal with diminishing oil resources, global oil demand must stop growing within a few years and then decline to lower levels by the mid century.

Describing the EU’s climate change and energy package as a good start, Osborn called for a further set of measures.

EU leaders clinched a final deal on an ambitious climate change and energy package at their summit in December, under which the EU must reduce greenhouse emissions by 20 percent, increase rate of renewables’ consumption to 20 percent and lower traditional energy use by 20 percent by 2020.

The committee’s proposal to reduce European oil demand in key sectors, such as transport, construction and power generation, will come up for discussion in the European Parliament later this month.

It called for systematic preference for rail rather than air travel, replacement of oil for heating, cooling and cooking by electricity from green sources, and expansion of renewable energy sources.

In order to bring about these changes, strong fiscal and regulatory measures would be required to drive the process, it noted.

Major public and private investment programmes, strong political, business and civil society leadership would also be required to expedite the process, the committee said.

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