As Russian President Vladimir Putin continues his war on neighbouring Ukraine, more people in Germany are speaking out about how to cut down on energy.
And even the motorist lobby is calling for people to give up their cars – or at least do what they can to save fuel.
“Every litre of fuel saved can help to reduce dependence on oil imports and therefore indirectly influence the further development of the war,” ADAC President Christian Reinicke told the newspapers in the Funke media group.
“For many short distances, driving a car makes no sense. For other distances, you can also use public transport,” Reinicke said.
He advised an economical driving style. “I myself also try to drive about 20 percent slower. If all 21.2 million members of the ADAC did that, it would already be a huge savings effect,” he said.
He urged people to leave their car at home more often.
It’s possible to go “to the bakery by bicycle instead of by SUV”, he said.
According to a survey commissioned by the ADAC, almost one in two drivers is currently prepared to forego individual journeys by car in order to save energy. Meanwhile, 60 percent have succeeded in saving energy by driving more economically.
To encourage ADAC members to save fuel, the association is launching a campaign on Wednesday. The aim is to inform motorists about potential savings and alternatives to their own vehicles.
In an open letter that the ADAC planned to send to its members on Wednesday, Reinicke and ADAC traffic president Gerhard Hillebrand called for people to walk and cycle more often.
The ADAC’s plea will likely be welcomed by the German government, which has been trying to ensure Germany is no longer dependent on Russia for oil and gas since the war on Ukraine began in February.
Climate and Economy Minister Robert Habeck, of the Greens, said on Tuesday he believes Germany can achieve independence from oil supplies from Russia “within days”.
Russia’s share of oil imports has already been reduced from 35 percent to about 12 percent, Habeck said after a meeting with his Polish counterpart Anna Moskwa in Warsaw. Most supply contracts have already been converted, he added.
When it comes to reliance on Russian gas “we are working flat out to overcome the high level of dependence that Germany had here, and which was a mistake,” said Habeck.
He said the share of gas imports from Russia has been reduced from 55 per cent to around 40 per cent. In order to overcome this he said, “LNG terminals are now being built at record speed”.
LNG or liquified natural gas terminals would allow Germany to diversify its suppliers of gas, potentially increasing direct supplies from the United States, Qatar or Canada.