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MOSCOW, March 24 (Itar-Tass) – An Hour of Earth environmental action was held in the Russian capital on Saturday night. Illumination of 90 Moscow architectural sites was switched off for an hour. The city saved 5 megawatts of electric energy thanks to the 60-minute dim-out, Pavel Livinsky, the head of the Moscow city fuel and energy department, told journalists.
In monetary terms, the saved energy was worth 26,000 rubles.
“The sum is tiny because energy-saving technologies, including Light Emitting Diods, are used to illuminate buildings in Moscow. That is why the tap lights went off just symbolically to call the attention of Muscovites to problems of environment and energy saving,” Livinsky went on to say.
“We are going to calculate how actively the Muscovites responded to our call and how energy consumption reduced between 20:30 and 21:30 Moscow time,” Livinsky said. “However, we are calling on people to cut on energy consumption and save resources on a regular basis and not just during the Hour of Earth action,” the Moscow official said.
The Moscow Kremlin also plunged into darkness for 60 minutes. Only the ruby-red stars kept shining on the Kremlin towers. The national flag of Russia over the Kremlin also remained illuminated. The lights on the GUM store’s front fa·ade went down, and the Red Square fell into a thick evening dusk.
The lights went out with the strike of the clock on Spasskaya Tower at 20:30 sharp Moscow time. About 200 people had gathered at the square by that time. They screamed with joy when the lights went out. Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi joined journalists and participants in the action on Red Square.
A great number of various organizations which have state significance took part in the action this year on the initiative of the Russian president: the Moscow Kremlin, the St. Basil’s Cathedral, the GUM store, the All-Russian Exhibition Center, the Pushkin Library, etc. Donskoi said that he expected every seventh Russian to participate in the action this year. In 2012, the Hour of Earth action covered 16 million Russians or every ninth person in the country. The Russian minister of natural resources and environment believes that every person who participates in this kind of action makes a minimal contribution to the noble cause of preserving the future of our planet.