The CDU and SPD in Berlin want to spend “at least” five billion euros on more climate protection in the city in the coming years. This was announced by CDU leader Kai Wegner and SPD leader Franziska Giffey on Wednesday after coalition negotiations. Accordingly, the possible future alliance partners are planning a special fund with the help of which they want to invest massively in climate protection measures. The money is to flow primarily into the energetic renovation of buildings, mobility and transport as well as climate-friendly and thus fossil-free energy and heat generation.
Wegner, whose party won the re-election to the House of Representatives on February 12, described climate protection as a "core issue" of the intended coalition. "We know that we have to give a new impetus to climate protection." On the one hand, this is important in order to achieve the goal of climate neutrality. “But it is also important to us for a city worth living in. And that's why we want to take the money into our own hands.” The program is an investment in the city's future viability.
Prime Minister Giffey said that such a special fund "in this form and this amount" does not exist in any other federal state. Climate neutrality cannot be achieved without massive financial efforts in the three areas mentioned. "It is therefore clear that additional investments are needed here." The policy area is one of the "core and future issues" of the future coalition. Of course, the money cannot be spent in full in the legislative period that runs until 2026. "It is a task that will take longer."
The SPD co-chair Raed Saleh said: "Five billion euros is a strong, a big contribution. Every cent that is invested is money well invested in the future of our city.” And it will not stop there. After a review of the program at the end of 2024, the funds would be increased if necessary. According to a joint paper, both parties are prepared to increase the special fund by up to five billion euros if necessary, i.e. up to ten billion euros in total.
The future partners want to raise the initially planned five billion through debt, as Saleh and CDU General Secretary Stefan Evers explained. "Today, as the CDU and SPD, we agreed on a historic effort, a historic effort in the face of a historic challenge," said Evers. "The claim that we have formulated is that we accept this feat of strength, that we approach it with commitment. We also do this so that people do not have the feeling that they are being left alone with the issue.”
Green parliamentary group leader Werner Graf, whose party is now preparing for the opposition after a good six years of coalition with the SPD and the left, reacted with skepticism to the announcements by the CDU and SPD. "Investing five to ten billion euros in climate protection is right and important," he explained. However, it is still completely unclear which specific measures are to be financed with this.” Money is not everything here either. "Where the specialists, the companies and the necessary materials are to come from remains completely open."
The left claimed the idea for a special climate fund for itself. "That was our proposal in the exploratory talks," she tweeted with the hashtag
Climate neutrality means that hardly any climate-damaging carbon dioxide (CO₂) and other greenhouse gases are emitted, for example by combustion cars, airplanes, heating systems, power plants or industrial companies. In Berlin, the law stipulates that this goal should be achieved by 2045.
On March 26, Berliners can vote in a referendum on whether the target year 2030 for climate neutrality should be written into the law. A citizens' initiative is vehemently committed to this, the Berlin Senate had classified such a goal as unrealistic.
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