Warsaw mulls cutting down on Christmas lights — Analysis

According to the Mayor of Poland’s Capital, authorities are trying to show people they can save energy.

Local media reports that the Warsaw municipal administration has been considering reducing the amount of Christmas decorations or turning them off entirely to encourage Poles who are trying to conserve energy.

The symbolism of energy conservation is what we want to show Warsaw’s people,” Trzaskowski told Radia ZET, adding that this would not solve the energy crunch, but would demonstrate that Poland is serious about saving energy.

The festive lighting is usually placed along the Royal Route, which features many of the city’s historic landmarks, including several palaces and churches.

Berlin mulls keeping iconic landmark in dark

According to the mayor, authorities have plans for other ways to cut energy consumption.

As is the case with the rest of Europe, Poland is facing a severe energy crisis, exacerbated by surging gas prices and Russia’s decision to cut off natural gas supplies to the country in late April. Gazprom, Russia’s largest energy company, stopped gas supplies after Warsaw refused payment in rubles.

In late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that nations, including Poland, which imposed sanctions on Russia but are still importing its gas would be required to makes payments in Russia’s national currency.

In July, Poland supported legislation that would allow gas traders to relax their rules and extend tariff protection to consumers. It also created contingency plans to assist electricity companies. These measures are aimed at fast-tracking the authorities’ response if the energy crunch becomes even more severe.

The government reminded residents that, if granted a permit in June, they can gather firewood from the forests for warmth.

As another European city considers taking similar steps, Berlin plans to reduce the number of Christmas lights in Warsaw. Franziska Giffey supported earlier this month the idea of not lighting landmarks such the Brandenburg Gate, in an effort to cut down on energy consumption. Local authorities suggested that street lighting be left on as long as safety is not compromised.

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