French government: No U-turn on carbon tax

PARIS (AP) — France’s prime minister says there’ll be no U-turn in the government’s policy of hiking taxes on fossil fuels to encourage the take-up of cleaner energies, despite planned protests by vehicle drivers this weekend.

Edouard Philippe told RTL radio on Wednesday: “We are not going to change course.”

Fuel prices have in recent weeks dominated the national discourse, with drivers gelling into an ad-hoc protest movement, dubbed “the yellow jackets” because they wear the fluorescent vests that French drivers are required to carry in their vehicles.

Philippe announced a bigger financial bonus for less well-off drivers who swap to cleaner vehicles.

But he said the government remains determined to help wean French consumers off polluting fossils fuels, to “free them from this dependency.”