The mayor of Paris announced Tuesday that lights on the Eiffel Tower will soon get turned off more than an hour earlier each day, as Europe scrambles to prepare for an anticipated energy crisis amid a showdown with Russia.
Anne Hidalgo said that the Parisian monument, which typically lights up after sunset and then goes dark after 1 a.m. will have its lights turned off at 11:45 p.m. daily — the end of the tower’s visiting hours — starting on Sept. 21.
Jean-François Martins, the president of tower operator Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, called the measure “an eminently symbolic gesture to participate in raising awareness about the need to save energy,” according to a statement cited by Bloomberg.
The city’s municipal buildings will also go dark at 10 p.m., but public lights will stay as is “to ensure the safety of Parisians,” Hidalgo said.
The average temperature in public buildings will be set lower as well, and heating in administrative buildings will be turned on a month later than in years prior, Hidalgo said.
In August, Germany announced the maximum temperature for public buildings should be set at 19 degrees Celsius (about 66 degrees Fahrenheit), with few exceptions, including hospitals.
French President Emmanuel Macron has called on his country’s citizens to reduce their energy consumption by 10% to avoid more drastic measures, including energy rationing, according to France 24.
Europe’s gas prices reached an all-time high following an announcement by Russian energy company Gazprom earlier this month that it wouldn’t reopen the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that runs to Germany — a move that some European officials have characterized as retaliation for sanctions on Moscow amid the Ukraine war.
The European Commission on Wednesday proposed action, including a mandatory reduction in energy consumption across all member states and also collecting about $140 billion from energy companies’ profits.
While these moves will need to be approved by the members states before they can go into effect, markets are already responding well to the plan, with gas prices falling about 40% from to two weeks ago, according to Bloomberg.