The House of Representatives has rejected the popular initiative “Berlin 2030 climate-neutral”. The coalition factions of SPD, Greens, Left and the opposition from CDU, FDP and AfD voted unanimously against the project of the initiative for more radical measures to reduce CO2. The Senate had previously opposed the plans for the referendum.

“We don’t think it can be done,” said Nina Ferch (SPD). In Berlin, she sees climate policy as heavily dependent on the framework conditions in the federal government. “Raising false hopes that we can’t fulfill in the end doesn’t seem expedient to us.”

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Stefan Taschner (Greens) said he shared the goals of the referendum, but there were problems with the implementation. “Unfortunately, the initiative has not yet shown what concrete measures can be used to achieve its goal. For years, the wrong policy had been in place when it came to energy modernization and the traffic turnaround. This cannot simply be remedied overnight.

Ferat Kocak (left) also declared that the initiative’s goals were not achievable. The systemic framework conditions are to blame. “Ultimately, this will only succeed with a radical change in our economic system,” he said. This requires pressure from initiatives and associations. FDP politician Felix Reifschneider also opposed a “Berlin special way”. The path to climate neutrality can only be achieved with a few clear guidelines and more competition.

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Danny Freymark (CDU) called for more speed, especially when it comes to building renovations. Currently, the refurbishment rate is less than one percent of the building stock per year. “Even to become climate-neutral by 2045, much more is needed.” Freymark called for higher investment by the state in climate protection. Otherwise the current goals cannot be achieved.

After rejection by the House of Representatives, the initiative must now collect almost 180,000 valid signatures in Berlin in order to be able to initiate a referendum.