Crushing Defeat for Climate Referendum in Berlin

The plan to make it mandatory for Berlin to become totally “climate-neutral” by 2030 was defeated on March 26, when the relevant referendum failed to receive the minimum number of “yes” votes required to win. A victory would have forced the Berlin Senate to include a binding provision in the state’s energy transition law, providing for climate-neutrality by 2030 instead of 2045, as previously envisaged.

A narrow majority of around 442,000 voters voted in favor (50.9%), and 423,000 against (48.7%). But only 35.8% of the approximately 2.4 million eligible voters took part, whereas a quorum of at least 25% (or 608,000 votes) was required to pass. This is good news, and it is line with the overall national trend of rejecting excessive green ideological projects (not to mention the Greens’ drive for war with Russia).

What is worrisome, however, is that neither the CDU nor the SPD did anything to block the initiative, even though the funding for it came mainly from sources in the pro-climate US investment banking sector. The 1.2 million euros spent on the referendum was a multiple of what was usually available in previous such votes, and nearly 500 million of that sum was donated by the U.S.-based Eutopia Foundation, which raises questions about Germany’s (and its capital’s) political sovereignty. The connections of this foundation lead not only to the UK-founded Extinction Rebellion organization, but also into the higher echelons of the climate lobby’s finance and politics. This goes back as far as the pre-2008 Lehman Bros, with active roles played by Teddy Roosevelt IV (chairman of the bank’s Council on Climate Change from 2007 on) and Teddy Roosevelt V. The former currently serves as Secretary of The Climate Reality Project, a merger of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection and The Climate Project, both of which he founded.

Unfortunately, the CDU and the SPD are both committed to spending €5 billion to make Berlin “climate-neutral” by 2045, a sum which they even plan to double. Given that the city is now 90% dependent on fossil energy sources, that means it will become inhabitable for most of its 3.5 million citizens, since there are no reliable substitutes available – at least not at affordable prices.

The Civil Rights Movement Solidarity (BüSo) was the only political force to denounce the referendum as a remake of the British-inspired “Morgenthau Plan”, which aimed to deindustrialize and depopulate Germany after World War II. The BüSo statement addresses a point raised in the anti-war “Manifesto for Peace” of Sahra Wagenknecht and Alice Schwarzer, and in the related rally of 50,000 in Berlin on Feb.25, namely the urgent need of a new political force in Germany.

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