Would you drive 50mph?

I have to congratulate Spain on their pretty extreme plan to curve energy consumption. I guess some of their citizens are not too thrilled with the strategy. I would like to think that humans can alter their habits if it meant saving their country and their planet. Why is it so hard to slow down? We have no problem speeding up!

Spain has launched an ambitious plan to reduce energy consumption and save millions of euros on oil imports by cutting the speed limit to 50mph and handing out millions of low-energy use light bulbs.

With the introduction of a broad swathe of measures between now and 2014, Spain’s socialist government hopes to reduce Spain’s oil imports by 10% per year, cutting consumption by 44m barrels and saving €4.14bn (£3.25bn).

During the country’s sweltering summers, air conditioning systems in public buildings will be set no lower than 26C (79F). In winter, Spaniards will be allowed to turn the heating no higher than 21C (70F), with hospitals being the only exception.

Street lighting is to be reduced by up to 50% and the metro system in many cities will stay open later at weekends to encourage people to leave the cars at home. The government is also to introduce a pilot project for the manufacture of 1m electric or hybrid cars.

All Spanish government vehicles are to meet at least 20% of their energy needs through biofuels.

And in an unprecedented move, commercial airlines will be able to use military air routes to make journeys 20% shorter. The comes after Ryanair and easyJet announced they are to cut routes to Spain, blaming rising fuel costs.

Among European countries Spain has the highest dependency on fossil fuels, which meet 84% of its energy needs. In the past year, Spain spent €17bn importing oil.

The rising price of oil has led to inflationary pressures and caused the country’s trade deficit to balloon by 13% this year to €42.8bn.”

Check out the rest of the article at: The Guardian.

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