After the failure of the climate referendum, Berlin's Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey emphasized the importance of fighting climate change. He was one of "our central political tasks," said Giffey on Sunday evening. "We are aware of the urgency, even if the referendum has not received the necessary approval."
25 percent of those entitled to vote would have had to vote for the implementation of stricter climate targets. Around 608,000 yes votes would have been necessary – the so-called quorum was missed, as can be seen from the figures from the state election authority.
The state of Berlin remains committed to the Paris climate protection agreement. "We are working to ensure that Berlin becomes a climate-neutral city by 2045 as quickly as possible." The SPD politician spoke of far-reaching measures: "We will do everything in our power to promote energy-efficient building renovation, expand renewable energies and improve existing funding programs such as Solar Plus."
One thing is clear: “The effects of climate change are also becoming increasingly serious in Berlin. That is why overcoming the climate crisis will also be one of the key issues for every future state government and will have high priority as a cross-cutting task.”
The Berlin CDU also confirmed that climate protection should remain one of the most important issues for state politics. The Secretary General of the Berlin CDU, Stefan Evers, said: "Berlin says yes to climate protection - but no to false promises. Berliners know that the climate would not be helped with unrealistic goals or unaffordable laws.” Decisive action is important in order to achieve “our nationwide, most ambitious climate goals” as quickly as possible.
Climate activist Luisa Neubauer was optimistic despite the failed referendum. “We don't let the critics and complainers stop us. Let's not forget what we made possible here," said Neubauer at the alliance's election party.
The result is not a defeat for the climate movement, but a defeat for all residents of Berlin. "First of all, this is a real turning point for everyone who is dependent on their livelihoods," emphasized Neubauer. Nevertheless, it must be discussed why numerous people also voted against the referendum. "We don't have to talk around it, I also find it hard to think about what happens to the people who voted no today. We also continue to fight for the people who voted no today.”
The Berlin FDP boss Christoph Meyer said that common sense among Berliners had prevailed. "A successful referendum would have been a further step towards the infantilization of norm-setting in the city." In the future, it must be ensured that such referendums already fail due to the legal formality test - "because demands that are practically or financially unfeasible only result in disenchantment with politics". The FDP is no longer represented in the newly elected House of Representatives.
The Berlin AfD assessed the failure of the referendum on climate neutrality positively. “A valid yes would have been devastating for our city. It's a good thing that this cup has passed us by," said state chairwoman Kristin Brinker. "The Berliners didn't give up their minds at the cloakroom, but prevented the quorum from being established," said Brinker.
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