Steven Mufson and James McAuley, SFGate/The Washington Post: France’s protesters are part of a global backlash against climate change taxes
The single most effective weapon in the fight against climate change is the tax code – imposing costs on those who emit greenhouse gases, economists say. But as French President Emmanuel Macron learned over the past three weeks, implementing such taxes can be politically explosive.
On Tuesday, France delayed for six months a plan to raise already steep taxes on diesel fuel by 24 cents a gallon and gasoline by about 12 cents a gallon. Macron argued that the taxes were needed to curb climate change by weaning motorists off petroleum products, but violent demonstrations in the streets of Paris and other French cities forced him to backtrack – at least for now.
“No tax is worth putting in danger the unity of the nation,” said Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, who was trotted out to announce the concession.
It was a setback for the French president, who has been trying to carry the torch of climate action in the wake of the Paris accords of December 2015. “When we talk about the actions of the nation in response to the challenges of climate change, we have to say that we have done little,” he said last week.
Read more ….
Update: Political disconnect: Paris riots reveal public’s unwillingness to accept a carbon tax (Dan Boylan, Washington Times)
WNU editor: There are a lot of issues causing the current global backlash against government policies …. taxes in the name of climate change is just one of them.