My idea for France: "A carbon card rather than a carbon tax"

By Yves Cochet

Yves Cochet, former minister of the environment, proposes a "carbon map" to solve the purchasing power equation and fight against global warming.

We can not count the disillusionments that follow the COP, since Copenhagen in 2009, the Paris agreement in 2015, and that of Katowice in 2018. At the same time, everyone laments the apparent contradiction between the vigor of the "yellow vests" movement and the so-called necessary increase in the fuel tax. Surprisingly, despite our attention to continuous news channels, we did not hear the wording of a rational proposal that would address both the goals of the COPs and the aspirations of the "yellow vests".

This proposal is called a "carbon map". It was considered in the United Kingdom under the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, precisely after a very intense episode of social protest around a proposed fuel tax increase. The carbon map unfolds as follows: each inhabitant of France receives an annual quota of CO2 which frames all energy consumption (oil, gas, coal, electricity ...). If, for example, you want to refuel at a gas station, you pay the fuel in euros and your carbon chip card is also decremented emission rights corresponding to the amount of fuel you bought.

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France's carbon budget - that is, the national amount of CO2 - must decrease steadily until 2050 to reach less than 75% of the volume of our 1990 emissions (objective of COP and commitment of France). As a result, the annual individual quotas, strictly equal from one person to another, decrease in the same proportion. Thus, unlike the carbon tax, whose climatic effect is uncertain and the obvious social rejection, the carbon card certainly makes it possible to respect the objective of reducing our CO2 and to build solidarity among our fellow citizens. "Cap and share", say our English friends, "cap and share."

Social justice

Of course, not everybody has the same energy consumption. Exchange exchanges, regional or national, would be set up to allow the largest consumers to buy additional units to the most economical, if the latter have to resell. Social justice is doubly guaranteed with the carbon card. First, in a situation of scarcity, everyone has their reserved share of energy (the individual quota of each): it is by limiting the demand of the largest consumers that ensures a minimum consumption for all.

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