Macron plans more aggressive climate law after months of ‘yellow vest’ protests

By Tim Pearce

French President Emmanuel Macron is planning a sweeping energy and climate legislative package months after “yellow vest” protests ignited across the country over a proposed gas tax hike.

The French government is putting the final touches on the legislation before releasing it, replacing vague goals with more concrete proposals. Around the country, demonstrations against high living costs and heavy taxes continue, though enthusiasm has waned since the protests began in mid-November, Reuters reports.

Wikimedia Commons/Dmitry Dzhus

France “yellow vest” protesters

France’s economy suffered as protesters looted businesses in major cities, set fires, smashed storefronts and forced a significant police response. The French economy is lagging because of the protests and other factors that have experts concerned about potentially deep-rooted problems within the European Union’s second largest economy, Bloomberg reports.

The French economy expanded at an average pace of 0.7 percent per quarter throughout 2017. The next year, average quarterly growth fell to just 0.25 percent. The Bank of France forecasts similar growth in the first quarter of 2019, according to Bloomberg.

Macron wants his country to become a global leader on fighting climate change. One of the proposals in his forthcoming climate package is a commitment to become “carbon neutral” by 2050. Macron also wants to ween the country off nuclear power and focus on less-stable, renewable supplies such as wind and solar.

Macron’s climate package is on track to be taken up by the lower house of the French parliament in June, Reuters reports.

In late January, the French president began holding town halls across the country in an attempt to quell the protests he stirred by proposing to raise the country’s gas tax again to push people away from using fossil fuels.

The approach signaled that the president was taking a more conciliatory approach to the protesters after publicly denouncing them weeks earlier. In a public address New Year’s Eve, Macron called the yellow vest protesters a “hateful mob” targeting “police, journalists, Jews, foreigners, homosexuals.”

The tough words backfired and incited protesters marched and fought with police the following weekend.

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Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Wikimedia Commons/Dmitry Dzhus

5 thoughts on “Macron plans more aggressive climate law after months of ‘yellow vest’ protests

    • “Off with their heads!”
      That’s what I was thinking, either Macron is more brain dead
      then most leftist or he’s looking to get his head separated from the body. The yellow vests are still protesting every weekend and he’s going to double down… Clean the rust off the guillotine you yellow vesters..

  1. If Macron & Co. think they have problems now with the yellow vests, just wait until the French public starts receiving crushing energy bills and undergoing rolling blackouts. When that happens, it’ll be sans culottes and guillotines all over again.

  2. Macron is hopelessly disconnected from reality.

    Instead of gasoline carbon taxes, he should have taxes luxury products at an additional 25%, on top of the standard value added tax.

    The people with upscale lifestyles, who buy luxury products and services, would pay these taxes.

    The luxury sector of the economy shrink.

    The additional money collected should be used to close budget gaps, and make additional investments in energy efficiency.

    The people who are demonstrating in yellow jackets would know Macron, despite being an elitist, was on the side of the working man, who is barely making it in France’s near zero growth economy.

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