When tourists began their annual flock to Paris for vin rouge and holiday shopping last month, a rag-tag, politically unaffiliated group donning yellow safety vests showed up with different plans. A proposed fuel tax, seen as another blow against workers by a government in thrall to elites, set off a rampage in the most elegant streets of Paris. The “Yellow Vests” protests (gillets jaunes) continued for weeks and sparked solidarity marches across Europe, even after President Emmanuel Macron promised to halt the tax.
Thousands of miles above the demonstrations, world leaders flew to the U.N. climate talks known as COP 24 in Katowice, Poland to solidify the 2015 Paris Accord. President Trump jumped on the opportunity to scapegoat efforts to tackle climate change as the Yellow Vests’ motivation, tweeting, “Maybe it’s time to end the ridiculous and extremely expensive Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris.”
The Yellow Vests, however, are concerned about the climate, despite their protest of a fuel tax, and their list of 42 demands calls for a fairer transition to a low-carbon economy for workers. Their is... Read more