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Mar 27, 2023
Berlin Voters Balk at Fast-Tracking Climate Neutrality by 2030
(Bloomberg) -- Berlin voters balked at a plan to make the German capital climate-neutral by law by 2030, which would have put it 15 years ahead of Germany’s national target.
The referendum, which would have obligated the city-state’s government to enshrine the climate goal in law, failed after fewer than the required 607,000 voters voted in favor, according to the state election commissioner’s tally. About 2.4 million people were eligible.
The result leaves in place a non-binding goal of climate neutrality by 2045, which is in line with the rest of Germany.
Referendum organizers, a nonprofit initiative called Klimaneustart Berlin, argued that Berlin’s governing body is “acting far too hesitantly.”
Days earlier, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that time to stop global warming of more than 1.5C is running out.
Germany, which emits the most carbon dioxide among European countries, has lagged on its emissions goals and was most recently thrown off track by the energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Read more: UN Says Warming Above 1.5C Likely Soon Unless World Acts Now
The Berlin proposal would have allowed citizens to see the local administration for inaction on climate goals. Berlin’s local government, known as the Senate, argued that the proposal overestimated possibilities for action and regulation at the state level. It said Berlin is dependent on other German states for securing a climate-neutral energy supply.
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