Throw a dart at a map of the world and, odds are, it will land on a country where public trust in the political establishment is significantly low – if not at an all-time low. In 2018, just one in five people (21%) globally thought it would be best to stick with political parties and leaders who have been in power before – dropping to just 15% in France and Italy.
More often than not, climate change is impacting national policy in unpredictable ways. Just by looking at the gilets jaunes movement in France, sparked by the announcement of a highly unpopular fuel-tax increase, we can see how these two phenomena intersect.
Mainstream consensus on the real threat of climate change has raised the question of how to slow or contain its long-term effects. In recent years, the policy changes needed to meet these planet-sized goals have focused increasingly on introducing tariffs on carbon emissions as a disincentive to their use.
When taxes on fuel and carbon come into play, ordinary citizens are often unprepared and unwilling to accept the additional cost burden. And any resentment towards existing political power structures risks becoming amplified as a result.
Could this be fertile ground for a new era of Green politics? Research from Ipsos shows that the answer to this question depends heavily on where you look…
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