By Isabel Pfannkuche and Stefan Schilde
It is probably the most important vote of the year: the climate referendum is on Sunday. Around 2.4 million citizens are entitled to vote. You can decide whether Berlin will be required by law to become “climate neutral by 2030”. But the question is: what does that mean in concrete terms?
BZ says what the consequences for Berliners really are.
► Renter: Rents could rise by up to three euros per square meter. This means that if you have a 100 square meter apartment, you could have to pay up to 300 euros more per month. Exception: If the price per square meter is less than 7 euros, only a two-euro increase would be allowed.
Background: According to a study by the Berlin housing company (BBU), the renovation of all buildings will cost at least around 90 billion euros. However, the study is two years old. That means: In view of rising construction and energy costs, renovation would be even more expensive. According to the law (§559 BGB), however, up to three euros per square meter can be allocated to the rent within six years.
BBU spokesman Dr. David Eberhart: “It won’t work without government support programs. And even if the money were available, there are not enough skilled workers to complete the work that needs to be done in just six to seven years.”
► Motorist: According to the initiators of the referendum, half of the cars in Berlin (150 instead of 300 per 1000 inhabitants) would be sufficient. Is called:
620,000 Berliners would therefore have to give up their car by 2030 and exchange it for a bicycle.
Because: The referendum calls for CO₂ emissions to be reduced by at least 70 percent by 2025 and by at least 95 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
► air travel: Not only the CO₂ emissions, but also other greenhouse gases from the BER air traffic in Schönefeld should be credited proportionately to the Berlin quantities. This means that flying is becoming a luxury for the rich who can afford it.
► Energy: Vattenfall aims to be carbon neutral by 2040. Cost: two billion euros. According to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute, it would cost four billion euros just to transform the district heating sector by 2035.
BUT: “With the technical and economic possibilities available to date, climate neutrality in 2030 is not yet achievable in our view, at least in the heat supply,” says Vattenfall spokesman Christian Jekat.
However, it is also clear that the referendum would massively increase energy costs.