2013 Berlin energy referendum

A referendum on the recommunalization of the energy supply in Berlin was held on 3 November 2013. Prompted by the Neue Energie für Berlin (New energy for Berlin) citizens' initiative in June 2013, it was approved by 83% of voters. However, the referendum failed due to insufficient voter turnout. 24.2% of Berlin voted in favor but the quorum required 25% or more to do so.

Berlin energy referendum, 2013
Volksentscheid über die Rekommunalisierung der Berliner Energieversorgung
LocationBerlin
Date3 November 2013 (2013-11-03)
Results
Votes %
Yes 599,588 83.20%
No 121,113 16.80%
Valid votes 720,701 99.81%
Invalid or blank votes 1,408 0.19%
Total votes 722,109 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 2,483,756 29.07%
Referendum failed because the required quorum of 25% approvals of the total electorate was missed.

Draft legislation

The New energy for Berlin draft law aimed for the recommunalization of Berlin's energy supply that was privatized in 1997, when the city of Berlin sold its municipal infrastructure and services company Bewag to the Swedish power company Vattenfall. It also demanded economically democratic control of the supply and a fast transition to 100% renewable energy.[1]

Initiators

The referendum on New energy for Berlin was initiated by the Berlin Energy Table (German: Berliner Energietisch), a non-partisan alliance of about 55 organizations, initiatives and individual activists aiming for the Recommunalization of the municipal energy supply. The alliance was founded in 2011 as an open platform for everybody lobbying for a socially just, ecologically sustainable and economically democratic supply with energy, gas, and heating in Berlin.

Members are e.g. the Berlin sections of attac, BUND, People's Solidarity, the Education and Science Workers' Union (GEW) as well as community organizations for affordable housing and the left-wing initiative FelS. While being non-partisan, the alliance is supported by the federal sections of major parties such as the SPD, Alliance '90/The Greens, and Die Linke.

Course of events

Between 11 February and 10 June 2013, the initiators collected 227,748 valid signatures of Berlin citizens, around 50,000 more than was necessary to qualify for a referendum (Volksbegehren).

Results

Choice Votes %
For599,58883.20
Against121,11316.80
Invalid/blank votes1,408
Total722,109100
Registered voters/turnout2,483,75629.07
Source: Berlin Returning Officer

References

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