Couple weeks ago, protest has been happened in France as a result of Macron energy policy. The President has made a call to raise fuel tax. The policy is in line with France commitment to reduce global warming. As we know, Paris agreement demands all the countries to contribute to save our planet from overheat temperature. And last year, Macron said to place the commitment to fight climate change. After the protest, Macron has temporarily pulled out energy policies, but the protest has been concluding something.
The name “Gilets jaunes or Yellow Vest” protest has been the face of France media for some time. Protest has been triggered by Macron energy policy. If we look in long-term effect, I agree with Macron that carbon tax will reduce global temperature, but to achieve that, need some insurance to ensure the policy set in motion. The big question: Is Macron providing the insurance for people of France? Gas and fuel has been centered for economy development in the last century. From Industrial revolution until now, we rely on fossil energy to enhance our economy capabilities. If there’s slight change on energy price, the impact will be so wide and affect countries development. Remember when oil price on its highest price some decade ago? That’s the time when Middle East countries gain their wealth. When Saudi Arabia embargo US on oil supply, their government is frantic and dizzy. You know the reason, right?
In global situation when economic enter “New Normal”, uncertainties is raised. The technology innovation has led new system which WTO not yet regulates it. Financial technology is the new phenomenon which will changes economic face in the future. Thanks to the internet, people has cut cost on distribution and with the fingers only, they can order many things. Prediction about some job losses in the future and there are high chance that it will be happening has made people, especially low-skilled labor face uncertainties. The reason is very valid and fact has been provided by some big companies that already use robot to enhance production and efficient the production cost.
When we face global situation like that, what is our priorities as a leader of the state? To ensure that high unemployment number reduces to certain degree and economy development is good to go. But can we blame Macron to make policy like that? Not entirely. Global situation is complex maybe vulnerable and demand quick decision in critical situation. I can say that we place more burdens into developed countries to solve global problems, and that’s because we think that they are major player in international system which have capabilities bigger than emerging countries. But, what we don’t realize is major countries has faced bigger problem in domestic than we think and in international meeting, they success cover it up well: more you have power, more responsibilities you have.
And France is developed countries right? Of course they shoulder big responsibility, mainly on Euro zone. We are well aware that Macron is Euro supporter and key player in European Union. As their status embedded, Macron wants to answer the role as good as it should be. I think rising fuel tax is one of the ways in his mind to fulfill the role. I already aware that climate change is having large impact on Earth biosphere, but when I have to choose between fight for climate change or ensure my prosperity, will I have fight for things that the impact is not felt? Of course not, I need money to survive in realities and I rather fight for money rather struggles to save the earth and you cannot blame me to think like that, because my life depends on money. I am well aware about that issue but it still not popular in my mind.
And I think the protesters in France and middle-low class have the same state of mind as me. The issue is already spread across the world and people know that. Here again, we face unprecedented complex global situation which force us to choose between environment and economic issue, between long-term issue and short term issue or unpopular issue and popular issue. Macron face very tough situation and he must find delicate balance between those two so France can get out of this situation. Long term policy need large insurance and the people in France want that insurance. They need certainties to their prosperity and their fate of course. It’s the same when foods are run out in the midst of battle of Crusade, how can soldier survive the next day battle. In battle, food it’s like the energy, and if we correlate in present era, money is like the energy to survive in everyday battle. They rely on money to live and without it, how can they fight for Earth biosphere. You have to fulfill the basic needs so environmental issue can go in to people state of mind.
Source of image: https://www.thelocal.fr/20181009/how-will-tuesdays-day-of-protest-impact-france