Dec 20, 2019

France raises pollution tax on large vehicles

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

France is aiming to lower carbon emissions by raising its pollution tax on large vehicles with a new law adopted by parliament earlier this week, Bloomberg reports.

By the numbers: Cars that emit carbon dioxide above a certain threshold will be subject to a 20,000 euro penalty — more than the current fine of 12,500 euros. France's finance ministry is projecting 50 million euros annually in revenue from the tax — those yields will be used to support automakers' shift to cleaner energy.

The government is meanwhile looking to incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles, per Bloomberg.

Between the lines: The new legislation comes as the European Union prepares to phase in new emissions standards that will fine automakers if their yearly sales exceed an average carbon limit.

The bottom line: "The measures show policy makers are still finding their way on how best to back a shift to cleaner cars," Bloomberg writes.

Our thought bubble: European regulations are tougher than the U.S., and they're coming much faster. This is why the French are enacting these measures, aimed at forcing the shift to electric vehicles.

  • If you give people an incentive to buy an EV and a disincentive to buy an SUV, you can really push the market quickly. Substituting one for the other may not make much of a difference.
  • Eventually, you should be able to take the EV incentives away, but not yet. The market is still in its infancy.

Go deeper: Electric vehicles are coming, but no one is sure how fast

Go deeper

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden is calling George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticized President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address drew a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.

Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 6,302,318 — Total deaths: 376,322 — Total recoveries — 2,716,924Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,812,125 — Total deaths: 105,192 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response.
  4. Business: Coronavirus could lower GDP by $15.7 trillion — More than 1 in 6 black workers lost jobs between February and April.
  5. Climate: The alarm over climate financial risk gets louder because of coronavirus.
  6. Media: Interest in the George Floyd protests has soared past the coronavirus.

The business of tear gas

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.