Sun, 29 Jan 2023

The Christmas lights are twinkling on Europe's most famous street, the Champs-Elysees, despite France's push to save power this winter. Because of the European energy crisis, the festive decorations on the celebrated avenue will be turned off earlier than usual.

"We must keep Christmas even in these difficult times - even despite the international situation and what is happening in Europe, with the climate and problems everywhere," said Marc-Antoine Jamet, director of the Champs-Elysees Committee.

The association, which organizes the annual display, announced it would switch the lights off at 11.45pm instead of 2am - except for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve - in order to reduce energy use by 44 percent over the festive period.

The lights, which were turned on in a ceremony on 20 November, will go out for good on 2 January, a week earlier than usual.

France rolls out energy saving plan to avoid winter power cuts French climate activists target store lights in Paris night raids

To stave off gas or electricity shortages, France's government is aiming for a 10 percent reduction in the country's energy use by encouraging energy-saving measures.

Towns and cities across France are turning down thermostats in swimming pools, sports halls and other public facilities, with some also switching off street lights at night.

Lights at the Eiffel Tower - which are normally illuminated until 1am - are now switched off at 11.45pm, as soon as the last tourist leaves.

Originally published on RFI

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