Lights to be turned off in France to save money and show 'sobriety'
Paris may go dark in the early hours of the morning if new plans go aheadTraders fears the blackout would negatively affect tourism and the economy
17:33 GMT, 29 December 2012
lose its trademark glow next year after plans emerged to extinguish its street
lighting at night to save money.
President Francois Hollande and his energy minister Delphine Batho are considering turning out the lights in and outside public buildings, offices and
shops in the early hours of the morning.
If the scheme
goes ahead, late-night revellers in the city would be advised to carry torches if
they venture out between the hours of 1 and 7am.
Lit up: Paris is at risk from losing its trademark glow if plans go ahead to turn off street light in the early hours of the morning
will also apply to other French cities, villages, and towns.
the measure would save energy and money, and show 'sobriety', although the plan
has proved unpopular with traders.
It follows on from a new rule last July which states businesses must turn off neon lights
between 1 and 6am. The measure was introduced as part of the French government's bid to improve its energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2020.
But the proposal was not popular with businesses, who believe that it could kill trade and discourage tourists.
'Visitors and locals follow the light, from one spot to another, all night long,' French chef and culinary consultant Didier Quemener told Quartz.
Leader: Francois Hollande is considering a scheme to turn off the lights in France to save energy
'My clients don’t want to be in the dark in the City of Light.'
France was visited by more than 81 million tourists in 2011 and the tourism industry employs some 900,000 people, according to government figures cited by Bloomberg.com.
Fearing for the impact on the economy, vice-president of France’s Commerce Council, Sofy Mulle, told Bloomberg there must be a better way.
She said: 'Surely we can work out environmentally friendly solutions that have less impact on our society and economy.'
The plan is already in place at the city’s more than 300 churches, bridges, and monuments, including the Eiffel Tower.
'One of our main objectives is to change the culture,' energy minister Batho told a French TV station.
'We need to end the cycle of producing more because we are consuming more. There should be sobriety in energy use.'