FRENCH YELLOW VEST LEADER SUPPORTS CARBON TAX

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25 april 2019

[4C Note: The following email letter is from a French member of the Climate Action Network, Neil Makaroff, of the Reseau Action Climat - France. The "GA" reference in the first line is to to CAN Europe's recent General Assembly. ]

Dear all,

As many asked me during the CAN Europe GA, I would like to inform you about a new dynamics we pushed in France in the context of the Yellow Vest crisis.

NGOs have developed a new proposal for a carbon tax. This proposal was supported in a joint press conference by the Gilets Jaunes movement, especially Priscillia Ludosky, who launched the petition against the carbon tax at the beginning of the movement, highlighting that the Gilets Jaunes are not against climate action and the polluter-pays principle if it is done right.

Please find attached our proposals for a new carbon tax and a summary for the press. Unfortunately, the proposal is only in French, but we are available for further explanations. My Colleague Meike Fink (in cc) is the one who developed the proposal.

Basically, the key ideas of this proposal are :

* A Fair carbon tax should cover all sectors and not only individual cars, and heating : aviation to be covered + a progressive inclusion of ETS installations in order to bridge the gap between the 22€/tonne/CO2, which is the price on the ETS, and the 44€/tonne/CO2, which is the French carbon tax ;
* Distributive effect : about 60 % of the revenues of the taxation should come back to the poorest households in France through a "climate income". This could be calculated in function of the revenues of households and their location (rural/urban areas) in order to avoid penalising the most disadvantaged citizens. The climate income will be reduce over time depending on the emergence of alternatives ;
* Investments in solutions: the rest of the revenues should integrally be invested in the energy transition. This to be supported by a decentralised approach, which could leave freedom to local authorities to better target priorities e.g building renovation, alternative transport solutions ;

Obviously, there is little chance the French Government will take this solution up as they said they would like to freeze the carbon tax until the end of Macron's mandate... But it shows that the debate is ongoing.

Hope this can help your national debate on the issue.


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