It’s a shame really because carbon taxes at the moment are often too small to incentivise any serious change. Transportation contributes to around 15% of all greenhouse gases, by far one of the largest sectors in terms of emissions.
Does anyone actually know what France’s proposed tax hikes were? I can’t seem to find them.
In New Zealand corporations pay for their carbon emissions at a rate of about $20 per tonne CO2-eq: if you applied that same tax to road users the average person would pay around $900 during the course of their car’s lifetime, relatively nothing. You would need to apply a carbon tax of around 10 times that price (at $200/t CO2-eq) before people begin to consider the alternatives.
What governments should be doing is to subside cleaner transport options, like electric vehicles. Of course if you live in a country that relies heavily on fossil fuels like coal and gas for their primary electricity supply (thankfully, not New Zealand) then investing in an electric car is rather pointless. An EV that gets its electricity from gas is only slightly less polluting than your standard petrol car.
So what governments really should be doing is investing in renewable energy sources, which are only getting more efficient and more convenient to access. Then you have tackled the emissions of both energy generation and transportation in one, since the falling cost of batteries will soon make electric vehicles competitive, and then the switch-over from gasoline will occur. Contrary to popular belief we still have enough fossil fuels (that we know of) to last 200+ years, so climate change will not be averted by simply waiting for them to run out. Action needs to happen before then.