Wednesday, March 24, 2010

After the Carbon Tax Debacle

Éloi Laurent reflects on the way forward for ecological politics in the wake of the repudiation of the carbon tax:

La différence entre l’enthousiasme qui a entouré le « Grenelle » et l’amertume du débat sur la taxe carbone tient sans doute à la nature différente des instruments économiques qui étaient en jeu - dans un cas la régulation, et dans l’autre l’instrument fiscal, l’un et l’autre ne reposant pas du tout sur la même économie politique. Mais derrière la logique de ces instruments économiques se cache une différence plus profonde, entre, d’un côté, un processus perçu comme juste parce qu’il associait sous le regard de l’opinion dans une véritable négociation diverses parties sur un pied d’égalité, et, de l’autre côté, une mesure qui a été comprise comme décidée à huis clos par un comité d’experts et dont les ultimes arbitrages ont finalement été rendus sans concertation par l’appareil techno-politique.


Anonymous said...

I maintain that the law was very poorly designed. The principle of a carbon tax makes sense, but what Sarkozy wanted had little in common with that écolos wanted.
They should rejoice because now they can show how THEIR proposal would be different - fairer, more effective, etc.

MYOS said...

FUN political debate tonight. I tuned in thinking it'd be Envoyé Spécial and it was Ségolene Royal v. Daneil Cohn Bendit arguing about the future of the left.
And I stayed tuned because it was entertaining. I kid you not.
What a show! I hadn't seen anything so fun in politics in a long time! No histrionics, humor, banter, quick back-and-forth.
Part of it is that THEY were having fun, too.
(I tuned off the following debate with Woerth and Chérèque because it was all wooden tongue, grey suits, and starched postures.)

My favorite moments, not verbatim, dealt with the carbon tax. A very lively debate, and convincing, too.

A fun exchange:
DCB : "you're against the carbon tax because you follow polls."
SR: "I was against the carbon tax even *before* the polls! Back then everyone attacked me and you know it since you did it too."
"It's true!!!" (Arlette Chabot, clearly in spite of herself)

In the end, they agree the Sarkozy proposal had little to do with an effective carbon tax as suggested by Rocard, and Royal offered an alternative: instead of taxing people so that they must change behavior, how about offering "bonus" to people who act in ways that help the environment, and "malus" to people who do the opposite? (Bonus/malus is the way they run insurance here.)

It should be online, it's worth checking out.
BTW, I tried finding a podcast of your NY radio program and found a podcast page, but your interview wasn't on it.