Spain's Minister of Industry and Energy, Miguel Sebastián, has introduced a set of measures to save energy, most of which affect cars and the way they're driven. These are expected to save 43 to 47 million barrels from being imported into Spain by 2011, not only for economic reasons but also because the country is becoming one of Europe's most polluting. Regarding transport, the measures are as follows:
  • Stimulating the introduction and production of electric vehicles (he's surely heard Mr. Brown).
  • The administration will only be able to purchase energy-efficient vehicles.
  • All public vehicles to use 20-percent biofuel by 2009.
  • Instead of a global requirement for biofuel blending, the total amount of biofuel to be used in 2010 is set be 5.83 percent.
  • A plan to renew cars older than 15 years.
  • Reduce speeds around cities by 20 percent. This is has been tested in Barcelona (and Rotterdam) for a while, and it's been discussed for the U. S as well.
  • A massive advertising campaign on fuel-efficient driving, including fuel-saving questions for drivers' license tests.
  • Investment in "sustainable urban mobility."
  • Stimulating the use of bicycles in urban and suburban environments.
  • Conditioning the nation's subsides on mass transit according to environmental parameters. For instance, no private companies in charge of bus lines will get money if they use old vehicles.
  • All commuter train, subway and light railway lines to have complete cell phone coverage.
  • Having all mass transit working on weekends and weekend nights
  • Creating exclusive HOV lanes for public transport on highways.
  • Creating and modifying bus lines adapted to commuting needs, so workers do not rely on private cars to go to work.
  • Allowing the use of defense air reserved areas for commercial airplanes to reduce route distance.
So far it seems like a long wish list. What I'm not sure about is how effective they will become. What do you think?

[Source: 20 minutos]

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