John V. Mitchell and Muge Dolun

This study analyses the protest in the context of the history of European fuel taxes and asks whether the demonstrations showed a limit to the potential for eco taxes.

In September 2000 the distribution of oil products in Britain and France was disrupted for a week as truckers and farmers blockaded ports, refineries, and depots. Public services suffered and fuel was short at the pumps. Opinion surveys showed widespread public support for the demonstrators' demands for reductions in the taxes (about 80% of the final price) on gasoline and diesel. Both countries subsequently reduced these fuel taxes, reversing a trend of increasing fuel taxes to achieve CO2 reduction. There were similar protests, with similar results, in other European countries. This study analyses the protest in the context of the history of European fuel taxes and asks whether the demonstrations showed a limit to the potential for eco taxes.

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