An act of solidarity and maturity

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Individual energy savings can translate into major changes in combined oil and gas demand with near-instantaneous results

A few simple changes in our individual and day-to-day behavior can have a major impact on everyone’s life; but it is necessary to know the meaning of these changes and to apply them consistently. During the pandemic, in a great act of solidarity and sacrifice for the common good, we showed that we could radically change our way of life and our habits to improve the health and lives of relatives, neighbors and, in general, the protect the entire population.

The war in Ukraine and its impact on Europe presents us with new challenges, while we had barely left the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic behind us. We want to sever all ties with the aggressor country, including economic ties that generate income to finance the war. The European Union buys more than 40% of its gas needs and more than 25% of its oil needs from Russia. Not using this amount of energy overnight is not realistic, neither for our industry nor for our homes, but it is possible to miss a large part between now and 2027 and replace the rest with alternative sources. However, this change again requires the solidarity and commitment of Europeans, and also of the 50 million Spaniards. Our contribution is therefore of great importance.

Individual energy savings can cumulatively translate into major changes in the combined demand for gas and oil with almost immediate results, and without the need to build new infrastructure to change the energy supply, which would take years before we could achieve concrete results. That is why it is necessary to act collectively and in solidarity and to change our habits and routines. If we are convinced that these changes are important because they can end war while making our continent more resilient and sustainable, it will be easier and more natural to apply and preserve them over time. It is estimated that a small commitment from every citizen can save up to 5% of gas and oil consumption in the EU.

Our efforts to save energy will also accelerate the green transition of our economies and societies and contribute to the fight against climate change. We have reached a point in the development of our civilization where the environment can hardly withstand the impact of human activity. We are obligated to act, for future generations and to save the planet. Reasonable use of energy and faster deployment of renewable energy sources is key to reducing the impact we have on the climate every day with greenhouse gas emissions. There are many sectors that have reduced their emissions and improved their energy efficiency, but there are others, such as transportation or the energy we use in our homes, that can contribute more to such a reduction.

To change our daily routines, such as commuting to work or school, or using air conditioning in our homes and offices, we need to change our mindset. We need to understand how important individual involvement is, even if it means a little less comfort for us, because together it can have tangible effects: cleaner air, a greener and healthier environment, fewer unbearable heat waves, fewer floods and fires. forestry. And also less imported fossil fuels from Russia and therefore less money to finance the war.

It is clear that to use fewer cars, we need efficient and cheap public transport, a good pedestrian infrastructure and a larger network of cycle paths. In addition, to use heating and cooling systems more rationally, we need to insulate our homes better and increase their energy efficiency. To improve transport infrastructure and the energy efficiency of our homes, the European Commission finances the renovation of buildings or rail infrastructure through various funds (e.g. the NextGenerationEU Fund or the Cohesion Fund). In order to reduce electricity consumption, it is also important, although it may seem trivial, to use appliances less often, for example to turn on the washing machine or dishwasher only when they are full and to avoid drying clothes in electric dryers.

And we must not forget that all these efforts will also help us to reduce our electricity bills and fuel costs. The European Commission and central and regional authorities are launching information and awareness campaigns to encourage consumers and businesses to contribute to energy efficiency. These campaigns will also serve to inform and show solutions and measures that enable energy savings. Many of us are not aware of how easy it can be to use energy more efficiently and economically.

We are privileged to live in a secure and democratic European country belonging to a developed continent, where, despite the difficulties, freedoms and human rights are not questioned and where opportunities for individual progress are offered. Being aware of this privilege should give us more responsibility and commit us to setting an example in the fight against the current crises.

Saving energy in our environment will be an extra step to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people and to make a small but important contribution to the fight for our planet.

Source: La Verdad

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