The Rise of Carbon Taxation in France: From Environmental Protection to Low-Carbon Transition

Working Paper
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This paper goes through the three historical experiences of carbon taxation in France and provides a detailed overview of the past attempts and current challenges to effectively put a price on carbon. By analysing the characteristics of each case, it explains the reasons for failure and success in adopting such tax and tries to help the reader understanding the various dynamics that played an important role in the turn of events. This study shows that, across the three different periods, carbon taxation in France consistently struggled to find its place as a catalyst for low-carbon transition, in a context of growing climate change awareness and strained economic circumstances. Through various reflexions on policy aspects, this paper addresses the broader question of the role of carbon taxation in a changing society.