French shops and offices may have to turn out their lights at night to save energy under government plans, prompting concerns that Paris, known as the City of Light, will be plunged into darkness.
Delphine Batho, the minister of the environment, said a new government decree would be presented in January, requiring stores and other non-residential buildings to turn off their lights between 1am and 7am, as part of a bid to cut the country's energy costs and consumption.
France aims to become at least 20pc more energy efficient over the next seven years.
The measure would not apply where light was needed for safety, during festive periods, or for businesses that operated at night.
Some people, especially in Paris, worry that the proposal could harm tourism.
It is unclear whether the operators of national monuments would be asked to turn out the lights. At some attractions, the lights are already switched off at night, including the Eiffel Tower, where illuminations stop at 1am.
A number of French businesses have also expressed concerns about the proposal. (© Daily Telegraph, London)