The question of our citizen initiative and referendum is:
Sind Sie dafür, dass die Hansestadt Lüneburg bis spätestens 2030 klimaneutral wird und dazu innerhalb von 12 Monaten einen Klima-Aktionsplan erarbeitet, welcher die dafür erforderlichen Maßnahmen beinhaltet?

Man-made climate change threatens to become humanity's greatest crisis. Already, hot summers are threatening local harvests, extreme weather events are occurring more frequently and more intensively, and rising sea levels result in thousands of people loosing their previous homes. To contain the consequences of global warming, greenhouse gas emissions must be drastically reduced and global climate neutrality must be achieved as quickly as possible. This means that no more greenhouse gases are emitted or that the remaining emissions are offset by ecological sinks such as peatlands, forests or humus growth.

Neun der fünfzehn zentralen Klimakipppunkte sind bereits in Bewegung.¹ Um die schlimmsten Folgen der Klimakrise zu verhindern, müssen die globalen Treibhausgasemissionen schnellstmöglich heruntergefahren und Klimaneutralität erreicht werden. Dabei zählt jedes zehntel Grad, um das sich die Erde erwärmt, und 2050 als Klimaneutralitätsziel ist viel zu spät. Als Industrieland mit hohen Pro-Kopf-Emissionen sowie vergleichsweise geringer Betroffenheit trifft Deutschland eine besondere Verantwortung, Schäden des Klimawandels auszugleichen und zu verhindern. Aktuell würden die  Zielvorgaben der Bundes- und Landesregierung jedoch nicht ansatzweise zum Einhalten des Pariser Klimaschutzabkommens und erst recht nicht zum Erreichen des 1,5°-Ziels führen. Umso wichtiger, dass wir in Lüneburg voran gehen und bis spätestens 2030 klimaneutral werden. Damit werden wir unserer Verantwortung gerecht und gestalten selbst den Weg zu einer klimaresistenten und sozial gerechten Stadt.

¹ Lenton, T. M., Rockström, J., Gaffney, O., Rahmstorf, S., Richardson, K., Steffen, W., & Schellnhuber, H. J. (2019). Climate tipping points—too risky to bet against. Online verfügbar in Nature [13.01.2021], deutsche Übersetzung der Parents4Future [13.01.2021]

Yes, the Hanseatic City of Lüneburg has already taken measures to protect the climate and is working on a climate protection plan to be completed and adopted in 2021. The problem: The city is sticking to its target of achieving climate neutrality only by 2050 - much too late, especially as Lüneburg could set an example. Additionally, it is questionable whether the collection of individual measures can be even sufficient to become climate-neutral by 2050. The collected measures do not relate to all relevant sectors in which greenhouse gases are emitted. We therefore call for a plan to take climate action, that includes the annual costs and personnel requirements for the planning and implementation of all emission-reducing measures. In addition, the plan must provide for compensation by the Hanseatic city for the emissions that cannot be avoided in the urban area from 2030 onwards.

Tackling the climate crisis can't wait until the procedures in community politics achieve results, or until the elections of 2021 are over. The climate crisis is urgent! On the one hand side, because of the upcoming elections in 2021 a compromise between the fractions in the city council on a fundamental change of the climate policies is improbable. On the other hand side, tackling the climate crisis is the most important challenge of our time - and the population shall be empowered to set a direction for it! Therefore, we want to enable the citizens of Lüneburg to formulate concrete orders for the city of Lüneburg concerning climate protection. By collecting signatures, launching the campaign and informing the public about climate neutrality, we also want to draw attention to the most important issue of our time. Also in view of the 2021 elections, we want to show how much the people care for a committed climate policy!

Our group consists of volunteers and is organized independently - therefore, we can act autonomously, but we can neither fall back on seed capital nor other project funds. Thats why we submit project applications for funding pools. However, this procedure can be very lengthy and funding is not yet secured. But the climate crisis will not wait - we have to start doing something! Signature lists, stand fees, expenses for public relations, ... there are a lot of expenses. Therefore we are grateful for every donation! Our finances and donations are handled by the non-profit association JANUN Lüneburg e.V., which is kind enough to provide us with the structure for fundraising. You can find further information here. .

We're round about twenty people organizing the referendum. The team consists of many compassionate people fighting for climate and environmental protection. We're an independent group so we don't belong to any association. Still, we're a local subgroup of German Zero, that support us with their expertise and knowledge. Our work is structured in small teams according to the different tasks and areas, like organizing the collection of signatures, fundraising or media. If you'd like to participate, just contact us.  

GermanZero hat ein Ziel: Deutschland in 15 Jahren klimaneutral machen! Klingt ambitioniert? Ist es auch. Doch ein Zusammenspiel aus verschiedenen Faktoren kann dieses Vorhaben möglich machen: Die Organisation arbeitet an einem Gesetzespaket als Klimaplan für ganz Deutschland, das mit Hilfe von politischem Druck im Bundestag beschlossen werden soll. Dieser Druck und die nötigen Veränderungen werden auch auf lokaler Ebene angestrebt: Zahlreiche Klimaentscheide sollen Deutschland Stadt für Stadt bis 2035 klimaneutral machen.
Wir sind dabei und danken GermanZero für die immense Unterstützung bei der Organisation des Klimaentscheids, sowie die Entwicklung des Vorstoßes für eine ambitionierte Klimapolitik!

Every referendum needs a legal justification in addition to the question. This is our justification:

The man-made climate change will have severe consequences. These are already tangible globally, as well as in our region. However, we can limit it by acting quickly and decisively: The sooner we become climate neutral, the greater the likelihood of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Although laws regarding climate protection are passed at federal or state (Bundesland) level, they are also implemented by cities. The measures taken to date by the city of Lüneburg aren't sufficient as contribution to achieving the goal of 1,5°C. With it's resolution to become climate neutral until 2030, the council of the Landkreis Lüneburg already showed courage. The hanseatic city of Lüneburg can now live up to its responsibility by also becoming climate neutral by 2030.
By implementing measures like enforcing renewable energies, constructing buildings for the future, enabling low-emission mobility and by creating extensive green areas, the hanseatic city can become more livable and attractive.

Therefore, we demand that the city of Lüneburg develops a climate action plan for climate neutrality 2030. In concrete terms, this goal means that Lüneburg net-zero emissions concerning greenhouse gases, taking into account the municipal greenhouse gas sinks and other compensatory measures. The climate action plan must include the annual costs and personnel requirements for planning and implementing emission-reducing measures in all relevant fields of action that lie within the city's area of responsibility. In addition, it must provide for the compensation of the resulting unavoidable emissions in the city area by the Hanseatic City from 2030 onward.