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The German economy minister has called on people to save energy in order to put pressure on Russia by reducing the country's consumption of gas imported from the newest addition to the world's pariah state list.
The specific recommendations made by Robert Habeck include less driving and greater use of public transport and trains.
"Every kilometer not driven is a contribution to making it easier to get away from Russian energy supplies. We are also protecting the climate," Habeck said, as quoted by Reuters.
Another suggestion the German economy minister made was for employers to offer their employees remote work on some days of the week. By staying at home, people would use less energy for transport.
"Wherever possible, one could work from home one or two days a week again - initially on a voluntary basis," Habeck said.
Another suggestion was for people to cycle or take the train instead of driving.
Habeck also said that with measures like this, it would be possible to reduce Germany's energy consumption by as much as 10 percent. Germany is among the largest gas importers in Europe, and Russia is its biggest supplier.
In December 2021, Russia had a share of 32 percent in German gas imports, followed by Norway with 20 percent and the Netherlands with 12 percent. Domestic gas consumption for the year totaled some 100 billion cu m, but imports topped 140 billion cu m.
Germany has been among the most vocal opponents to the war in the Ukraine, which has put the biggest economy in the European Union in a difficult position of a critic heavily dependent on the object of its criticism.
Despite this dependence, discussions are ongoing about an embargo on Russian oil and gas supplies to the EU, even though Germany has admitted it cannot readily afford to cut off imports suddenly.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.