Rejected: climate protection referendum in Berlin failed

Good morning, dear readers,

If only the political commitments and promises of the changing city governments were to be followed, then Berlin would long since have “affordable housing for everyone”, “no child would be left behind” in the schools and the dog poop would also have disappeared from the pavement.

None of this has happened so far. Therefore, the initiators of the Berlin climate protection referendum should not grieve for too long. Yesterday they failed in their goal of committing the capital to climate neutrality by 2030. Around 442,000 Berliners voted in favor, around 423,000 against. The referendum thus failed to achieve the additional approval of at least 25 percent of those entitled to vote.

But there is already no shortage of ambitious goals in climate policy – above all the targeted nationwide climate neutrality by 2045. We will already fail at this hurdle if we don’t get from making demands to implementing them. Replacing one year with another in a referendum would not have saved a single gram of CO2.

When it comes to climate protection, the motto that I picked up from the car rental company Alexander Sixt in a different context must finally apply: “Doing is like wanting, only much better.”

Alliance “Climate Restart”: The alliance would like to campaign for a change in the energy transition law in Berlin.

Rock Tech Lithium is celebrating the step from political will to entrepreneurial action today at a groundbreaking ceremony in Guben, Brandenburg: The company starts building a so-called lithium converter there. The raw material is processed and refined there so that it can be used for battery production. Company boss Dirk Harbecke: “But our goal is to develop a closed lithium cycle. By 2030, 50 percent of the lithium used in Guben should come from recycled batteries.”

So far, the batteries for e-cars have mainly come from Asia, especially China. Politics and business are working on bringing parts of the added value for battery production to Europe. At least in Guben that seems to have worked.

From wanting to finally getting into action: that was also the aim of last night’s coalition summit. There were a number of issues at issue from the expansion of the motorways to the replacement of gas heaters to the financing of basic child security. However, top representatives of the SPD, Greens and FDP still sat together in the Berlin Chancellery after midnight without having agreed on any compromises.

Not only in Berlin, but also in Frankfurt was voted on Sunday. The SPD politician Mike Josef won the runoff election for the mayoral office with 51.7 percent of the votes against his opponent Uwe Becker (CDU). Josef thus becomes the successor to SPD mayor Peter Feldmann, who was voted out of office for allegedly taking advantage and other escapades. Josef, SPD chairman in Frankfurt, focused on social issues such as affordable rents during the election campaign. The 40-year-old was previously the city’s head of planning and sports. He came to Germany from Syria as a child.


It is perhaps the most important decision in management: What counts as one’s own core competence, where one wants and has to make a difference for the customer? And which components of your product do you prefer to buy in addition? If you want to do too much yourself, you will get bogged down. Anyone who buys too much becomes interchangeable.

For a long time, German car manufacturers considered the software in their own vehicles to be too important to hand over. Now it is clear that the corporations have failed with the approach of extensive in-house development and are turning around.

According to information from group circles, Volkswagen wants to save a three-digit million amount at its Cariad software unit this year alone. At Mercedes, investments in the development of its own operating system were capped at one to two billion euros. The two car manufacturers are now increasingly relying on cooperation with tech companies such as Google. BMW has been following this path for a long time.

It helps that Google accommodates the industry. Instead of the Google Automotive Services operating system, with which the Americans wanted to take over all infotainment in the car, the US company now offers “Google built-in”. The reduced solution allows the integration of individual apps such as Google Maps in the car. At the same time, the manufacturers retain sovereignty over their own software, which acts as a framework. “The auto industry is now realizing that you not only have to come to terms with tech companies like Apple or Google, but can actually come to terms with them,” says Peter Fintl, car expert at the Capgemini management consultancy.

The catch: With the new realism in the software sector, the car companies are doing without a growth business. According to the management consultancy McKinsey, sales related to IT in cars will increase significantly more than with conventional components such as bodywork or chassis.

The modesty of the car bosses can be reasonable – but only if they have a good answer as to where their own core competence begins in the future, in which it is worth investing.

If you were annoyed again at the weekend by the annoying time change, you might take a look at Lebanon. Normally, daylight saving time begins on the last Sunday in March there, too. On Thursday, however, the government announced that it would not start until April 21 this year. According to the AP news agency, so that Muslims in the country do not have to wait so long for dinner during the month of fasting. During Ramadan, devout Muslims are only allowed to eat after sunset.

Many TV stations, schools and businesses said they would ignore the decision and still change their clocks to daylight saving time on Sunday. The country’s two major mobile phone companies asked their customers to change the time themselves if they wished. However, on many cell phones, the time automatically advances one hour.

Many Christian politicians and institutions also announced that they would present their clocks. Some are already talking about Christian and Muslim times in Lebanon. Which gives the term “unchristian time” a whole new meaning.

I wish you a start to the week in which you are in the right place at the right time, despite the Verdi strike (you can find everything about it here).

Best regards

Your Christian Rickens

Editor-in-Chief Handelsblatt

Morning Briefing: Alexa

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