Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez appeared with an open collar at a press conference to personally model his proposed solution for Europes's looming gas crisis. "I would like you to see that I am not wearing a tie," Sanchez said. He explained that wearing open collars would make white-collar work more comfortable, and lead to reduced air conditioning usage. "This way, we can all save energy."
Deutsche Welle reports that Sanchez has asked all government employees, including ministers, to avoid neckties, and hopes that the private sector will make similar changes to its dress code. Spain has worked to limit climate control usage in the private sector before and encourages remote work where possible. Last month, Spain passed a relief package worth USD$9.2 billion that included electricity tax cuts and approximately USD$200 for low-income individuals.
Sanchez, along with other European leaders, is intending to adopt a series of emergency measures to save energy as of Monday, attempting to counter the shortage caused by the Ukraine war. Among the bilateral sanctions between Russia and the EU have been severe restrictions from both sides on the Nord Stream gas pipelines to the EU, prompting an energy shortage in Europe.
Last week, the European Council announced that the EU had committed "to reduce their gas demand by 15% compared to their average consumption in the past five years, between 1 August 2022 and 31 March 2023, with measures of their own choice." The Commission has also released a €210 billion plan to boost renewables and reduce energy consumption.
Germany, likely to be among the countries hardest hit by Russian energy supply cutoffs, has seen an array of measures being introduced to save energy. Hanover, in the north of Germany, has begun offering only cold showers at public pools. Berlin, Germany's capital, has begun turning out spotlights illuminating public landmarks.