The false good idea of ​​the eco-tax is once again reborn from its ashes, but regionalized

Do you remember the ecotax, the heavy goods vehicle tax launched in 2014 and buried in the wake of the Bonnets Rouges movement born in the west of France? It is back … but the government will leave to the regions, and their Presidents, the burden of opposing the transport sector.

An ecotax region by region?

Like its first version dating from 2014, the new eco-tax targets road transport, considered to be very polluting, in order to encourage the transport of products and goods by means that produce less CO2, such as the train. Sunday March 14, 2021, as part of the discussions on the Climate Law, the deputies validated the principle of an eco-tax on road freight traffic.

The big difference with the aborted project of 2014 is the regionalization: cit will be the regions that will decide on the implementation of such a tax, who will take care of its collection and who will receive the money. ” This is a request from certain regions, in a logic of differentiation », Said the Minister for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari.

Blame it on Alsace?

Now provided for in article 32 of the Climate Law, which will have to be voted on at the end of March 2021 by the deputies to the National Assembly, the new eco-tax exempts the government from all the choices that the regions could make. A decision that aims to go in the direction of the European Collectivity of Alsace, born in 2021, who wants to impose such a tax on the sections of the A35 motorway whose management it has recovered.

Very busy in terms of road traffic, this highway could easily be cleared of many trucks if they have to pay to drive on it. But some elected officials, especially in Lorraine, believe that the problem will not be resolved, carriers who can do so will simply take a detour via another motorway not subject to this tax (in this case the A31 in Lorraine), even if it means lengthening the journey a little.

The eco-tax: a new false good idea

Nothing has yet been decided, the deputies having just validated the principle but not yet having voted for the law, but the return of the ecotax is already shaping up to be a false good idea which will not solve the problem of road transport by truck.

In addition to being an additional cost for carriers, the National Road Transport Federation having already declared its opposition to this new version of the eco-tax, the routes could simply be changed.

Rather than paying a tax, some carriers could avoid routes and take others: the longer journey would therefore cost more for the company, and therefore for the end consumer, while the quantity of fuel consumed, and therefore of CO2 produced, could increase. With the final effect the exact opposite of what the tax was designed for: to fight against pollution.