Conservative CDU to oversee climate and mobility in Berlin’s new city government
Tagesspiegel / Clean Energy Wire
Social Democrats (SPD) and Conservatives (CDU), who want to form a government in the city of Berlin following an election in February, have agreed on a coalition treaty. A week after the German capital’s failed referendum on making the city climate neutral by 2030, the two parties said that the CDU will head the city’s department for the environment, mobility and climate protection, while the SPD will take over urban development, as well as the economy and energy department. CDU leader Kai Wegner, whose party won the election on 12 February, is set to become city mayor. According to local newspaper Tagesspiegel, the parties agreed to continue the takeover of the city’s district heating network, but could not decide whether to pursue the controversial construction of the inner city motorway A100 – they transferred the decision to the federal level. Before the government can take office, the coalition treaty will have to be approved by the parties.
CDU management of climate and energy issues is bound to upset many climate activists, given that the party argued during the election campaign that “demonising” cars is the wrong approach, and endorsed further investments in auto-related infrastructure projects, such as the A100 highway extension – in sharp contrast to the Greens, who called for a less car-centric approach. The SPD, which currently heads the city state’s incumbent government coalition with the Greens and the Left Party, sought to find middle ground between the two parties’ positions. Shortly before the city referendum on 2030 climate neutrality, the CDU and the SPD, which both rejected the initiative, said that they are planning to earmark at least five billion euros for a “special climate protection fund” that will finance energy-efficient building renovations, green mobility and renewables.