London, 12 June: A top French economist has slammed his country’s attempts to decarbonise its economy.
Professor Rémy Prud’homme accuses the government of wasting money on schemes that will make almost no difference to the climate and will cause great harm to the poor.
France already has relatively low carbon dioxide emissions because it gets most of its electricity from low-carbon sources like nuclear and hydro. But despite this the French government has embarked on a programme of building renewables. As Professor Prud’homme explains:
“We are spending billions to switch from reliable low-carbon nuclear power to unreliable low-carbon renewables. This will almost certainly increase our carbon dioxide emissions rather than reduce them.”
And the policies put in place are hitting the poor very hard, particularly those living in rural areas.
“The government is forcing up the price of energy everywhere. There are some subsidy schemes to reduce the impact on the poorest, but these cannot do nearly enough to soften the blow, as the Gilets Jaunes protests have shown us.”
The protests, now in their thirtieth week, and in which more than 4000 people have been injured, began as a demonstration against fuel price increases imposed as part of the government’s decarbonisation drive.
Rémy Prud’homme: La Transition Énergétique: “Pointless, Costly and Unfair”