Skip to main content

Climate

Ditch the tie! Spanish PM models new energy-saving measure

Sanchez has tried to position the country as a “sustainable and progressive leader in Europe."

Spanish artist Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory on a neck tie
Spanish artist Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory on a neck tie | eBay

July 30, 2022 2:21pm

Updated: July 31, 2022 1:30pm

The leader of Spain asked his country to embrace the spirit of Casual Friday every day and stop wearing ties to help stay cool amid Europe’s heat wave and soaring energy prices.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez appeared at a news conference on Friday without a tie, only a white collared shirt and blue jacket.

"I'd like you all to note that I am not wearing a tie," Sanchez said to the audience.

"This means we can all save from an energy point of view."

The incident quickly went viral for his implication that casual dress could help curb demand for air-conditioning, which Sanchez coyly did not spell out.

"I have asked ministers, all public officials, and I would like to ask the private sector too, if they haven't already done so, not to wear a tie when it isn't necessary because that way we will be confronting the energy saving that is so important in our country,” he added, after announcing his government would introduce emergency measures next week to improve efficiency and energy saving.

Leader of the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party, Sanchez has tried to position the country as a “sustainable and progressive leader in Europe” to woo President Joe Biden and American investors, reports Reuters.

He said he wanted to raise $500 million in private investments to “transform and modernize” Spain’s technological infrastructure and hasten the country’s adoption of green policy initiatives during meetings in July 2021 with American business leaders like Apple, Blackrock, Netflix, and Zoom.

But like in the rest of Europe, energy prices in Spain have spiked since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Spaniards have been relying more and more on air conditioning as temperatures surpassed 104 degrees Fahrenheit in many parts of the country.

On Thursday, Spanish environmental minister Teresa Ribera asked constituents to be mindful of energy consumption but emphasized the government did not expect people’s daily lives to be disrupted, according to Fox News.

"We can tell the kids to turn the lights off, or we can keep the blinds down… Using the thermostat properly is also important," she said.