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Spain restricts lights, air conditioning to 'fight climate change'

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Yudi Sherman

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Yudi Sherman

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Fri, Aug 05, 2022

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01:22 AM

Other European countries imposing environmental mandates

Spain restricts lights, air conditioning to 'fight climate change'

New environmental regulations due to take effect next week in Spain will limit thermostat temperatures and lighting hours in public and large commercial buildings, according to The Guardian

Starting next week, public buildings, shopping centers, cinemas, theatres, rail stations and airports will be forbidden from decreasing the A/C thermostat below 27°C (80.6°F) or raising the heating thermostat above 19°C (66.2°F). 

Lights in shop windows must be turned off by 10 PM, and doors must remain closed to conserve energy. 

But Madrid President Isabel Díaz Ayuso is refusing to comply. 

“Madrid isn’t going to switch off,” she said. “That generates insecurity and scares off tourism and consumption. It brings darkness, poverty and sadness, even as the government covers up the question of what savings it will apply to itself.” 

The regulations come just days after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez urged both government officials and people in the private sector to stop wearing neckties to “fight climate change,” in a move approved by mainstream media.  

According to Associated Press, who gushed that Sánchez’s request is “an energy-saving move that many men have already embraced," the prime minister made the remarks at a news conference where he showed up sans necktie.  

“I'd like you to note that I am not wearing a tie. That means that we can all make savings from an energy point of view,” he said, then urging government officials “that if not necessary, don’t use a tie.”  

The rationale is that not wearing a necktie allows for more breathability which may lead people to use less air conditioning which would lead to less carbon emissions. 

“I want to make something very clear,” Sánchez said last month. “Climate change kills: it kills people, as we’ve seen; it also kills our ecosystem, our biodiversity, and it also destroys the things we as a society hold dear – our houses, our businesses, our livestock.” 

Spain, unlike most countries in the European Union, is not dependent on Russian oil for energy. Nevertheless, it joined 27 other EU member states last week in a pledge to reduce energy consumption – most member states by 15%, and Spain by 8%. 

This has led to some countries imposing restrictions similar to Spain’s. 

In France, air-conditioned shops who don’t keep their doors closed will be fined €750. 

Illuminated advertising between 1 AM-6 AM – except in airports and railway stations – will be prohibited. 

The public will be expected to turn off lights in rooms they are not using and to turn off their televisions and WiFi routers when they leave the house. 

In Germany, monument spotlights will be turned off, as will the hot water in municipal pools, showers and bathrooms. 

Other countries like Greece and Italy are also placing thermostatic caps on their populations. 

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