The Berlin Senate is currently working on its own concepts to save Berliners from freezing in winter. This was confirmed by Senator for Social Affairs Katja Kipping (left) in the Tagesspiegel on Tuesday. “I’m really thinking a lot about the upcoming harsh winter of energy poverty and what Berlin can do to cushion it,” said the politician.
According to Tagesspiegel information, these could be heat islands. For example, there are discussions about using district centers or other social facilities for this purpose. However, the consultations with “all actors” are still ongoing, as the social administration announced when asked by the Tagesspiegel.
Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) had previously questioned the gas priority for households on Tuesday. Consumers would also have to “pay their share,” said Habeck during a visit to Vienna. A permanent or long-term interruption of industrial production would have massive consequences for the supply.
Kipping sees fighting poverty primarily as a task for the federal government, as she recently told the Tagesspiegel. In addition to federal funds, the senator wants to spend as much of the Senate’s energy fund as possible on private households.
Social hardship could be cushioned with up to 380 million euros. The SPD also wants to do this and expand the fund significantly. The Greens want to use the money for increased energy costs in the state budget.
Social Senator Kipping also contradicted the reporting by “rbb”, according to which she plans to use gymnasiums as heat islands. “Gymnasiums are not part of these diverse considerations,” said Kipping when asked by the Tagesspiegel.
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Even during the first days of the war against Ukraine and the refugee movement, the Senate had tried everything to avoid the reoccupation of gymnasiums – as was the case during the 2015 refugee crisis.
Like Kipping, the State Sports Association (LSB) warned against such considerations as the German Association of Towns and Municipalities had recently made. “Sports halls are not heat islands. You must be available to exercise. Sport is part of the public service,” said LSB President Thomas Haertel on Tuesday. “Therefore, it is incomprehensible to us that sports halls are being considered first again.”