News
29 Nov 2018, 16:30
Benjamin Wehrmann

Macron’s fuel tax courageous move which Germany does not dare to make – opinion

Süddeutsche Zeitung

French President Emmanuel Macron might have made several mistakes when introducing a new tax on petrol and heating oil but “he shows a level of courage that the German government couldn’t muster for years now,” Michael Bauchmüller writes in an opinion piece for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Taxing the dirty stuff to support the clean stuff” is the tax’s underlying principle and as such cannot be criticised by anyone really interested in climate action, Bauchmüller says. “Without a doubt, this can be socially explosive,” he says, arguing that consumption taxes always hit those hardest who have very little to begin with. “It’s this effect that now brings the ‘yellow vests’ [gilets jaunes] to the streets” and which Macron underestimated, Bauchmüller writes. “But it doesn’t have to be that way.” From lowering fees and levies elsewhere to increasing support to public transport, there are many options to cushion the effects of taxes on fossil fuels. “But Germany’s grand coalition seems to be unfazed by that.”

 Read the opinion piece in German here.

See the news digest item Protests in France highlight why a CO2 price must be socially fair – German minister for more information.

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