SEOUL, July 7 (UPI) -- South Korea has announced new energy conservation measures.
The first in a series of measures intended to tackle the cost of rising fuel prices is limiting the amount of road travel.
Thousands of public-sector vehicles will be allowed on the road only on alternate days, and air conditioning in government buildings will be restricted, according to Prime Minister Han Seung-soo.
If oil prices continue to rise, more extreme measures will be taken, Han said. South Korea has to import all its crude oil supplies and expects to spend $111.2 billion on oil this year, up from $60.3 billion last year.
"Even oil-producing countries are tightening their belts to save energy in the era of the ultra-high oil prices," Han said. "To take concrete measures to save energy is not a matter of choice but a matter of survival."
The restrictions will be introduced July 15 and will apply to 15,000 public-sector vehicles and more than 800 public offices and institutions. There are also plans to replace half the fleet of public-sector vehicles with compact or hybrid versions by 2012.