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Shops in Paris must close from Monday if the air conditioner is on. It is forbidden to open doors to the public as standard, because a lot of energy is wasted.
“Open doors are not normal in light of the climate and energy crisis,” said Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo. It is introducing this measure by decree and will apply the new door policy to more than 60,000 stores in the French capital. Retailers who do not participate can be fined 150 euros.
Paris responds to a call from President Macron. He wants to cut energy consumption by 10 per cent in the next two years. This is aimed at achieving climate goals, but also out of fear: the energy supply may be threatened in the coming period by the war in Ukraine.
“As a whole country, we need to reduce our energy consumption,” President Macron said this month. “Why leave the light somewhere at night when it can be turned off? We will ask all the French to participate. We need less waste.”
On vacation? Wi-Fi is down!
The government consulted on three rounds with governments, businesses, malls and supermarkets. Various initiatives were discussed there. In government buildings, for example, air conditioning is only allowed when the temperature is above 26 degrees. Supermarkets should no longer use open refrigerated display cases. Malls like to light up storefronts and parking garages for a shorter period of time.
Private individuals also have to contribute. “It’s about small gestures,” government spokesman Olivier Veran said. “If you’re going on vacation, pull out all the plugs and turn off WiFi.”
Environmental organizations have responded positively, but they accuse the government of not having a strong position if companies or municipalities do nothing. There are currently no penalties. This is a deliberate government policy, hoping that everyone will take action on their own.
Paris’ decision to tackle waste air conditioners now has significant symbolic value. The city is not the first. Several small towns, including Lyon, have decided in recent weeks to force air-conditioned stores to close their doors.
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