Carbon tax and riots in France


#1

I’d like to discuss what is happening in France. Let me quote from FRANCE’S UPRISING OF THE “YELLOW JACKETS”:

Employees, especially families, are forced to live farther away from urban centers, and precariousness accentuates the distance from the workplace. In the Paris region, the 50 percent of employees who take a car to go to work are most often those who are forced to live on the periphery or who work staggered hours.

To justify its fuel tax and gain popular support, the government notes the need to fight global warming by lowering emissions of greenhouse gases and fine particulates. The government spokesperson, Benjamin Grivaux, tried to win support from the environmentalist left by denouncing “those who smoke cigarettes and drive with diesel.” But even among environmentalist supporters, the increase in taxes did not meet a favorable response, and the contemptuous haughtiness of the government has not impressed them.

The fundamental reason for this is that all the policies of the government, like its predecessors, ignore the ecological imperatives of the hour. After favoring all-car and diesel, nothing has been done to develop public transportation in rural areas and in the periphery of large cities, while the working classes must travel ever-greater distances from their workplaces and urban centers.

There is an unbearable government arrogance in charging more to people who will not be able to change their mode of travel or vehicle. With the attacks on the SNCF, France’s national rail company, the government intends to remove more than 11,000 kilometers of railway, and rail freight has been largely sacrificed for the benefit of the road. At the same time, the oil company Total is exempt from any taxes and has a free hand to continue mining exploration.

In addition, the debates on the 2019 finance law have revealed that more than 500 million euros from the fuel tax will go not to ecological transition, but to cover the deficit of the 2019 budget as a result of the abolition of the wealth tax.

I think that we should change the program in the part regarding carbon taxes, that should be implemented only if proper transportation alternatives are already present.


#2

“I think that we should change the program in the part regarding carbon taxes, that should be implemented only if proper transportation alternatives are already present.”

I partly agree.
To postpone carbon taxes until alternatives are present might mean to postpone carbon taxes forever. It would be OK for me, to implement carbon taxes on fuel used for transportation and building new transportation alternatives at the same time.


#3

The problem is that people have to pay more either way, because their salaries are stagnating or declining. For taxation it should be the other way around: oil corporations should pay higher taxes and governments should prevent the gas prices of rising too high. Only then the rage goes against corporations and not against the government. Combine it with investments in green energy and public transportation, this will slowly show the carbon corporations their responsibility.

The worst thing one can do, is to blame a single person for their action. Everybody has a responsibility, but a corporation like Shell (with sales revenue of 305 Billion $ in 2017) has around 6-million-times more responsibility then an average person.


#4

I agree that oil corporations should pay higher taxes and governments should prevent the gas prices of rising too high, while building new transportation alternatives . And DON’T DISMISS THE RAILWAY!!!


#5

I completely agree to Viki and Claudia.


#6

Indeed, oil corporation should bear the fiscal effort in a much more balanced way than today.

On the diesel subject however, remember that the idea is currently to align its taxation level on the petrol. This was fully included in Benoît Hamon and Jean-Luc Melenchon program when they were running for the presidency. Going backward on this and keeping a fiscal “niche” on a fossil fuel would show a very bad signal to everyone.
Putting pressure on the alternative means of transportation would be the way forward. Shouldn’t we focus on that?


#7

Putting pressure on alternative means of transport is undoubtedly very important especialy in the light of intended privetisation of SNCF where we could well see rural lines being closed down. However, we need to put pressure on the developement of alternative fuels of which the only credible “escape route” is Hydrogen as fuel. We have the means to produce Hydrogen from the methanisation of animal and human dejections (slurry and sewage) and then crack the Methane molecule (CH4) whereby the Carbon crystalises as a solid and the Hydrogen separates out as a gas. In Germany and Denmark the administrative time required for a farm to go ahead with a methanisation plant is in th order of 4 to 6 weeks In France it is in the order of 3 to 5 YEARS!!. Also the cleanest fuel at present is Liquid Petroleum Gas which is what I run my car on. In any of our neighbour countries I can find LPG at any service station. In France I have to set off with a map of LPG pumps and plan my itinery in accordance as there are so few, even on motorway sevices. Why is France so protective of the ptroleum industry?