A Conservative Approach to Climate Change: Finding Market-Based Solutions


While the alarmist rhetoric and collectivist approach to the environment from the Left are unconstructive, Republicans can’t ignore the issue for much longer. A genuinely conservative approach to environmentalism involves more than just inaction. Instead, the Right should focus on discovering market-based solutions to climate change.

Conservatives must avoid falling into the climate alarmism consuming the Democratic Party, but they also cannot continue to deny that the climate is changing and that human activities are partly responsible. Their “do-nothing” attitude is both environmentally and electorally unsustainable. Climate change consistently ranks as one of the top issues for young voters, and complete ignorance will lead to long-term issues for the GOP.

The Left now presents a false choice: the environment or the economy. Approaches like the Green New Deal, mandating that all cars be electric by a certain date, subsidizing ineffective renewable energy methods, or outright banning fossil fuels are either entirely meaningless or so economically impractical that they couldn’t be implemented without significant backlash. 

Additionally, ongoing left-wing opposition to nuclear energy, which has proven to be one of the most effective green energy sources, highlights the absurdity of their climate alarmism. It is becoming increasingly clear that expanding state control over the economy is the aim, not just a side effect, of left-wing climate change legislation.

Republicans should work on addressing the issue without harming economic growth. Solutions put forward by the American Conservation Coalition, a conservative group focusing on environmentalism, include cutting bureaucratic red tape delaying critical green energy projects, promoting competition in energy markets, and establishing a “tax credit that supports new clean technologies and phases out as they become more competitive in the market.”

Another crucial aspect of the puzzle is that the biggest carbon polluters are often not in the industrialized West but in the developing world. While promoting green energy domestically should be a key goal, lowering trade barriers to make clean technologies accessible worldwide and tackling highly environmentally unfriendly economies (such as China’s) should be at the forefront of conservative environmental policy.

It’s undeniable that climate change has become a rallying cry for the Democratic Party, but it’s equally undeniable that neither party is offering real solutions. Republicans need to take climate change seriously because Democrats clearly are not.

Ben Rothove
Ben Rothove
Contributor. Benjamin Rothove is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has 50,000 subscribers on YouTube, serves as the Chairman of UW-Madison Students for DeSantis, and is the National Vice-Chair of Young Leaders for Keep Nine.

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