In April of this year, French President François Hollande announced a plan to set a floor price on carbon emissions for the energy sector. The French Government declared yesterday that this plan was dropped. This reversal is bad news for climate.
Though limited to the energy sector, this floor price on carbon emissions would have sent a strong signal to other European countries for the reinforcement of the current EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
Economists widely agree that introducing a carbon price is the single most effective way for companies to reduce emissions and stimulate innovation in low carbon technology. And many business leaders around the world are now calling for carbon pricing implementation. On August 24th, 130 investors controlling $13 trillion urged G20 leaders to “provide stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing that helps redirect investment commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge”.
On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, on October 4th, the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau announced that his government will introduce a nationwide carbon tax, from $7.60 a ton by 2018 up to $38 a ton by 2022. Ahead of the COP22 coming up in Marrakech, France loses its leading position and regrettably postpones climate action.
Employment is a sensitive issue in the French social and electoral environment. Though, decarbonization generates value and employment for current and future generations. The French Government itself assessed that the Energy Transition Law would create “100 000 jobs in the short-term and more than 200 000 jobs in the long-term”. Now, it is high time to act for the future of climate and economic activity.