An energy crisis is not the time to be an electric pig.
As Europe faces spiraling electricity bills, thanks in no small part to Russia’s war in Ukraine, the splendid lighting at night is being called into question – including at the Eiffel Tower.
The Paris landmark currently remains lit until 1 a.m., but the city hall is expected in the coming days to propose moving it back to 11:45 p.m., follow Guardians.
“It’s a highly symbolic gesture — part of the growing awareness around energy moderation,” Jean-François Martins, the tower’s head of management, told the publication.
Similar moves were made across Europe this summer: Authorities in Berlin reduced nighttime lighting at the Victory Column and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, as did their counterparts in Marseille at Pharo Palace and other monuments.
But the real fear is winter. As Europe faces rising energy costs – fueled by inflation, the Ukraine war and extreme weather – it’s crucial to cut electricity consumption before the cold kicks in.
“The next 5 to 10 winters will be horrible if nothing is done,” Belgium’s Energy Minister, Tinne Van der Straeten, tweeted late last month.
On July 26, European Union announce an agreement In a statement that will cut natural gas use by 15% this winter, “Today’s decision has made it clear that Member States will resolutely oppose any attempt by Russia to divide split the EU by using energy supplies as a weapon.”
It doesn’t have to wait long. Earlier this month, Russia cut off gas supplies indefinitely through the main European pipeline. Asked if supplies would resume if sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine invasion were eased or lifted, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, “Of course.”
Energy-saving plans across Europe include a ban on private heated swimming pools in Germany, turning off lighted signs at grocery chains in France and limited air conditioning in 27°C in public buildings in Spain.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday said Europe and his country were prepared to deal with Russia’s gas supply cuts, but Critics were quick to express doubts. Marcel Fratzscher, president of the German consultancy DIW, said on the same day that “many companies will go bankrupt” due to the energy crisis and that “recession is inevitable”.
In such a pessimistic context, turning off the lights a little early at the memorials seems like a gentle move. But as Martins noted, it’s a “highly symbolic gesture”—and few icons are more recognized than the Eiffel Tower.
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