BERLIN (Reuters) – Germans should start saving energy now to become more independent from Russian fossil fuels, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said, as Europe’s top economy looks for ways to cut gas and oil imports from Moscow in response to the war in Ukraine.
With mounting civilian deaths in Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, Germany is under pressure to wean itself off Russian gas and oil, as critics say the revenue provides Moscow with vital funds to wage war.
Moscow describes its invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation”.
Habeck said Germany could become less dependent if citizens reduce their energy consumption, suggesting using the train or cycling instead of driving whenever possible.
“Every kilometre not driven is a contribution to making it easier to get away from Russian energy supplies. We are also protecting the climate,” Habeck said in interview with Funke Media Group.
Habeck said cutting 10% of individual energy consumption was possible, adding that employers could contribute by offering workers the option to work from home wherever possible.
“Wherever possible, one could work from home one or two days a week again – initially on a voluntary basis,” he said.
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Alistair Bell)