07.8.2022

How to Privatize Climate Policy

“[The] aim in this paper is [to] propose an authentically Austrian approach to climate change policy. Such a proposal is necessary because the dominant Neoclassical framework fails to provide an adequate defence of property rights and a secure foundation of knowledge for policy. … [Thus, the] two currently favoured climate policy instruments, taxes and emissions trading, should be abandoned. …

Tort litigation on the basis of strict liability would therefore take the place of taxes and emissions trading. By providing a public arena in the courts for the testing of scientific hypotheses about the causes of climate change, litigation would also promote the public understanding and even the advancement of climate science. The aim is to devise a strategy that protects to the greatest possible degree the liberties of all agents, both users of fossil fuels and people whose livelihoods and territories are at risk if the AGW hypothesis is true. …

These ways of thinking about the issue share an interpretation of climate change as a putative interpersonal conflict rather than market failure.”

Originally published here by the Mises Institute on 2 April 2011.

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