Ban European flights and car use in cities to hurt Putin, report urges

(The Guardian, 8 Apr 2022) Strong measures by Europe could quickly deprive Russia of oil and gas income worth billions, experts say.

Flights should be banned in continental Europe and car use banned in city centres to save energy and prevent Vladimir Putin profiting from fossil fuel sales, campaigners have said.

It would be possible for Europe to quickly end its reliance on oil and gas from Russia by taking strong measures, according to a report by the climate adviser Mark Lynas, energy analyst Rauli Partanen, and energy and sustainability installations specialist Joris van Dorp.

Policies include rationing, with everyone in Europe allowed the same minimum amount of energy to use, and limiting thermostats to 18C in winter.

“The biggest problem is gas. In total last year Europe imported 155 billion cubic metres of gas from Russia,” the authors said. Critics of the EU’s oil and gas policy have pointed out that hydrocarbon sales are financing the war in Ukraine.

Even the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said recently: “We’ve given Ukraine nearly €1bn. That might seem like a lot but €1bn is what we’re paying Putin every day for the energy he provides us with. Since the start of the war, we’ve given him €35bn [£29bn], compared to the €1bn we’ve given Ukraine to arm itself.”

External link

The Guardian, 8 Apr 2022: Ban European flights and car use in cities to hurt Putin, report urges