30 Nov 2021, 13:49
Charlotte Nijhuis

New Berlin state government to introduce citizen climate council and 'climate check' for laws

Tagesspiegel Background

The new Berlin state government consisting of the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the Left Party has presented its coalition agreement on Monday. The threey-party coalition, led by mayor Fanziska Giffey (SPD), aims to focus on social and economic equality and climate protection. For the next five years, the coalition wants to define a greenhouse gas emission budget that will be divided among the energy, buildings, economy and transport sectors, energy policy newsletter Tagesspiegel Background reports. If a sector fails to meet its target then an immediate action programme will take effect, as is already the case at federal level. The new state government also plans to install a citizens’ climate council and subject all bills and senate proposals to a ‘climate check’ – two measures that have been called for by environmental groups. In terms of urban development, the coalition aims to take a “climate-friendly planning approach” while building 20,000 new apartments a year. It also plans to improve and expand public transport and accelerate the development of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

After the Berlin state election in September, which was plagued by planning errors and administrative mistakes, the SPD came out on top with around 21 percent of the vote – the party’s worst result since 1946 – followed by the Greens with around 19 percent. Earlier this year, Berlin's previous SPD-led coalition government presented more ambitious climate plans. The city aims to reduce emissions by at least 95 percent by 2045 and by 70 percent by 2030. In November, Berlin presented plans to speed up its coal exit, with parties agreeing to switch off the last coal power plant in 2028-2029 instead of 2030.

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