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Tuesday 28, March

Berlin climate referendum fails

Sunday's Berlin 2030 Klimaneutral referendum saw low voter turnout and an unexpectedly high number of against votes.

A demo and aid concert was held at Brandenburger Tor the day before the referendum. Photo: IMAGO / Müller-Stauffenberg

On Tuesday, there were 400 new Covid-19 infections reported in Berlin. The seven-day incidence currently stands at 44.7 cases per 100,000 people.

Berlin climate referendum fails

Sunday’s Climate referendum, which aimed to make Berlin climate neutral by 2030, has been unsuccessful. A low voter turnout of just 3.8 percent and an unexpectedly high number of votes against the proposed climate policy resulted in a mere 50.9 percent of Berliners voting in favour.

Around 442,210 Yes votes were counted, falling far short of the required 607,518. Experts were surprised by the 423,418 Berliners (48.7 percent) who voted No, as it was expected that opponents of the referendum would be more likely not to vote at all than to vote against it.

Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg was the only district in which the referendum would have actually passed

Most of the city’s Yes votes were cast in districts inside the ring, with Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Mitte, Pankow, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Neukölln all voting majority in favour. But Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg was the only district in which the referendum would have actually passed, with just over 31 percent of those eligible voting Yes, according to Tagesspiegel.

Meanwhile in Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Treptow-Köpenick and Reinickendorf, the No votes were in the lead. And in Spandau and Marzahn-Hellersdorf, a particularly large number of people voted against the proposed climate policy. These statistics more or less reflect the political Black/Green divide we saw during the recent election.

The question is now, will the results be contested? According to election experts, the logistics of the referendum went smoothly. But there have been indications of some organisational breakdowns, such as complaints from people reporting that they’d not received their mail-in voting documents in time, according to rbb.