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Political acceptability of climate policies : do we need a 'just transition' or simply less unequal societies ?
OFCE Le Blog
Paris : OFCE
Low carbon economy, Climate policy, Social justice, Environmental sustainability
This blog post is partly based on the policy paper published in the journal Climate Policy: ‘Job Losses and the Political Acceptability of Climate Policies: why the job killing argument is so persistent and how to overturn it.’ Concerns for a ‘just transition’ towards a low-carbon economy are now part of mainstream political debates as well as of international negotiations on climate change. Key political concerns centre on the distributional impacts of climate policies. On the one hand, the ‘job killing’ argument has been repeatedly used to undermine the political acceptability of climate policy and to ensure generous exemptions to polluting industries in most countries. On the other hand, the rising populist parties point to carbon taxes as another enhancer of socio-economic inequalities. For instance, the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow vest) movement in France is a classic example of the perceived tension between social justice and environmental sustainability.