French President Emmanuel Macron has scrapped a fuel tax rise amid fears of new violence, after weeks of nationwide protests and the worst rioting in Paris in decades.
An official with the Elysee palace told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the president decided to get rid of the tax.
Philippe told lawmakers that “the tax is now abandoned” in the 2019 budget, and the government is “ready for dialogue.” The budget can be adjusted or renegotiated through the course of the year.
Three weeks of protests have left four people dead and were a massive challenge to Macron.
Macron is hardly alone in his frustration. Leaders in the United States, Canada, Australia and elsewhere have found their carbon pricing efforts running into fierce opposition. But the French reversal was particularly disheartening for climate-policy experts, because it came just as delegates from around the world were gathering in Katowice, Poland, for a major conference designed to advance climate measures.
Be disheartened. It’s better than disheaded.