Reduce speed limit by 10mph to beat Putin, says Sir Richard Branson Business

Sir Richard Branson has called for a 10mph reduction in the speed limit to ‘save lives’ in Ukraine and defeat Russia by reducing the country’s energy consumption. The British billionaire has said speed limits on motorways should be reduced from 70mph to 60mph for next year to ‘end this war’.

Sir Richard also urged the West to step up deliveries of military aid to Ukrainian forces to save the “breadbasket of the world”.

By driving more slowly, drivers would reduce fuel consumption and therefore dependence on Russian oil.

Speaking to CNBC, Sir Richard said: “Lives will be saved, you know, in the UK alone by lowering the speed limit.”

Sir Richard, the founder of Virgin Atlantic with an estimated net worth of $5billion (£3.8billion), also called on airlines to consider cutting flights to cut fuel burn and said businesses should refuse air conditioning units to save electricity.

Italy has banned air conditioning units from being set below 25C this summer, warning that anyone breaking the rules faces a €3,000 (£2,493) fine.

Russia collects billions of dollars a day from European Union countries that buy its oil and gas, limiting the impact of sanctions meant to cripple the country’s economy.

Experts have previously said measures such as lowering the thermostat or driving less would help reduce Western dependence on the Kremlin, meaning Putin’s regime would earn less on energy sales and more restrictions may be imposed. This would also apply in Britain, because even though the UK does not use much Russian energy, reducing consumption here would free up fuel which could then be sent to other European countries that do.

Sir Richard said: “Now is not the time for neutrality.

“We say that it is necessary to increase military aid.

“NATO governments should immediately authorize the transfer of weapons that Ukraine has requested.”

The Prime Minister pledged to phase out imports of Russian oil by the end of the year. The UK sources around 8% of its total oil needs from Russia – and 18% of its diesel. Russian gas imports represent only 4% of British consumption.

Continental Europe, however, is much more dependent on Kremlin-controlled energy. Russia is the world’s third-largest energy exporter, sending five billion barrels of crude oil abroad every day – half of which has historically been taken by Europe.

Germany sources up to 55% of its gas and 34% of its oil from Russia and has resisted Western plans to increase military aid to Ukraine.

Sir Richard, 71, who is based on his own Caribbean island, said: “It is really important that we get rid of our dependence on Russian oil, gas and coal. And we must do it immediately. And we can’t keep sending billions of dollars to Russia to fund their war.

“If we can reduce the West’s dependence on fuel by, say, just 10%, that will free up something like 3 billion barrels of fuel. And it will be a lot, to ensure that countries like Germany no longer need to import.

“We suggest you go there [by] to encourage[ing] everyone to reduce the speed at which they drive their car.

“Now if everyone did it at 10 mph in the IEA countries it would reduce enough fuel to sort out the countries importing fuel from Russia, at the same time it would have the beneficial effect of making raise the price of fuel, because everyone is paying way too much for their fuel right now.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-20 18:02:53

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