Individuals, governments should cap their energy use to help end the war in Ukraine, says Richard Branson

Individuals, governments should cap their energy use to help end the war in Ukraine, says Richard Branson



Virgin Group founder Richard Branson on Wednesday called on individuals and governments to cap their driving speeds; and turn down their heating in a bid to reduce reliance on Russian energy and also bring about an end to the war in Ukraine.


The billionaire entrepreneur said that small personal sacrifices could reduce demand for Russian power in turn bringing down prices and easing the cost-of-living crisis.

“It’s really important than we get rid of our dependence on Russian oil, gas and coal; and we must do that immediately,” Branson told CNBC’s Rosanna Lockwood.


“If we can reduce the West’s dependence on fuel, say by just 10% that will free up something like three billion barrels of fuel. That will be plenty to make sure that countries like Germany do not have to import anymore,” he said, referring to European countries’ reliance on Russian energy.

Russia is a major source of energy for consumers globally.


The European Union is particularly dependent; importing 45% of its gas from Russia in 2021, according to the International Energy Agency.


However, Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine earlier this year has drawn that reliance into question.

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As governments have sought to reduce their dependence on Russian energy imports; which are seen as funding President Vladimir Putin’s war chest — prices have surged higher as global supply struggles to catch up with demand.


Oil prices moved higher early Wednesday, with Brent crude futures trading at around $108.23 per barrel at 2 p.m. London time.

Reduce speeds, turn down heating

Among Branson’s suggestions for reducing individual energy consumption were cutting household central heating; and air conditioning usage by 1% and reducing driving speeds by 10%.


Governments could, for instance, drop the national speed limit from 70 [miles per hour] to 60 for the next year “in order to support Ukraine,” he said.


“The demand for fuel is going to come down dramatically and therefore the price of fuel will come down dramatically; and therefore the cost of living will come down dramatically,” he said.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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