Environment and Markets

Environment and Markets

The soot-darkened skies and fouled waters of Eastern Europe have given apologists for laissez-faire capitalism a new rallying cry: the “free market,” far from being nature’s enemy, is the environment’s savior.

Some environmentalists have argued that there is no fundamental conflict between environmental responsibility and “free market” economics. Ecology, they contend, is ultimately sound, profitable business and environmental regulation must employ market forces if it is to succeed. They advocate giving businesses more flexibility and incentives, such as
the right to buy and sell pollution rights, to increase efficiency and innovation so as to meet environmental goals.

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