Recent opinion polls and experimental economic studies have shown that the perceived fairness and effectiveness of climate policies are the two major conditions that determine their social acceptability. Revisiting the Yellow Vests crisis in the light of these two factors gives us a better understanding of the underlying causes of the movement. This paper thus contributes towards the consideration of the necessary democratic process regarding the characteristics and conditions needed for long-term climate policies.


Aspirations for greater equity have gone beyond the carbon tax and transition issues alone: the reaction to the withdrawal of public services, a feeling of powerlessness and lack of respect, labour market changes (individualization, workforce casualization), and, more broadly, a crisis in our social contract,22 have led some of the middle and working classes to demand another, fairer social pact.

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