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Global Carbon Tax Revolt Hits France

Written by Staff Writer
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Manifestation en mémoire de Clément Méric Paris France 03 06 2017 01The Global Carbon Tax Revolt -Wall Street Journal
"France’s violent Yellow Vest protests are now about many domestic concerns, but it’s no accident that the trigger was a fuel-tax hike. Nothing reveals the disconnect between ordinary voters and an aloof political class more than carbon taxation. The fault line runs between anti-carbon policies and economic growth, and France is a test for the political future of emissions restrictions. France already is a relatively low-carbon economy, with per-capita emissions half Germany’s as of 2014. French governments have nonetheless pursued an 'ecological transition' to further squeeze carbon emissions from every corner of the French economy.

The results are visible in the Paris streets....Undeterred, Mr. Macron pushed ahead with a series of punitive tax hikes to discourage driving. The protesters in Paris will be expected to pay much of the up to €8 billion annual tab for a minuscule global benefit - that’s how much tax revenue Mr. Macron thinks his levies will raise. This is preposterous in an economy that still has an 8.9% jobless rate (21.5% for the young) and will struggle to hit 2% annual GDP growth. Yellow Vests from less prosperous rural areas, who depend on cars for daily life, know it....The carbon tax revolt is world-wide. Voters in Washington state last month rejected a carbon tax that would have started at $15 per ton of emissions and climbed $2 a year indefinitely....After decades of global conferences, forests of reports, dire television documentaries, celebrity appeals, school-curriculum overhauls and media bludgeoning, voters don’t believe that climate change justifies policies that would raise their cost of living and hurt the economy."