What's the Latest Development?
In an attempt to save energy and cut costs, the French government has proposed that all businesses and public buildings keep their lights off from 1:00 am to 7:00 am. The government got help with the proposal draft from an environmental group that calls itself The Association to Protect the Sky and the Night Environment. They claim that the savings would be equal to the output produced by a 1,300-megawatt nuclear reactor during the same six-hour period. They also say the goal isn't to scare tourists away, but businesses aren't so sure. One merchant says that compared to other European cities, Paris is "becoming a museum, falling asleep after sunset."
What's the Big Idea?
The light ban is part of a larger European energy efficiency improvement plan that, if passed, would apply to municipalities all over the country. Currently, the Eiffel Tower shuts its lights off at 1:00 am, and businesses with neon signs turn them off from 1:00 am to 6:00 am. The savings campaign, originally begun under former president Nicolas Sarkozy, will be pushed even further by the current government, according to Environment and Energy Minister Delphine Batho: "One of our main objectives is to change the culture...of producing more because we are consuming more."
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