Already defended by former French Presidents Sarkozy and Hollande, the idea of a carbon tax at the EU’s borders is typically French and has ended up convincing almost everyone.
Everyone benefits from such a tool because it fights pollution and acts as a lever for exporting good environmental practices, but it also appeases more protectionist-leaning parties.
Macron was the only head of state who recently opposed opening trade negotiations with the US, the country that wants to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. In France, linking international trade with environmental protection is now accepted.
“Faced with Trump’s America and Bolsonaro’s Brazil, we have no choice but to impose environmental conditions,” said a candidate of Macron’s party La République en Marche (LREM).
But a lot needs to be done to convince European partners of a ‘green protectionism’ with a French touch. In Germany, the conservative Union of CDU and CSU expressed their opposition to a national carbon tax, defending the reform of the European carbon market instead.
Sweden also appears viscerally attached to free trade, as even its representatives from the Green party refuse to introduce obstacles on the all-powerful market.