Lessons from ‘yellow vest’ protests in France

SMEA Professor and Associate Director Nives Dolšak and UW Director of the Center for Environmental Politics Aseem Prakash recently wrote an article featured on The Hill titled, “Can the climate movement survive populism? Lessons from ‘yellow vest’ protests.” The article considers the “yellow vest” protests in France, which were prompted by the proposal for “green” levies on transportation fuel. The violent protests are part of a populist movement that reflect anger over high taxes and declining incomes. The authors state that protests in France reveal a large number of citizens see climate action as an elite priority, and that the climate movement needs to reconnect with ordinary people. Dolšak and Prakash offer that “What is needed is a new strategy — acknowledging stagnant wages and declining living standard — that shows how climate action solves the problems of common people.”