Libertarian approaches instead of failing climate policy

On Monday evening, April 8, 2024, 30 interested people gathered in the premises of the Stauffia fraternity to take part in an event organized by the Hayek Club Munich. The topic of the evening was: “How can the rudder of failing climate policy still be turned? Libertarian pproaches.”, presented by the MIWI economist Yuri Kofner.

The event was introduced and moderated by the co-director of the Hayek Club Munich. In his presentation, Kofner drew on the work of renowned (climate) economists such as Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, Dr. William Nordhaus, Dr. Hans-Werner Sinn, Dr. Ulrich van Suntum and Dr. Jonathan Adler.

The speaker began by presenting data indicating that the costs and damage caused by storms in relation to global GDP have either remained the same or decreased over the last 100 years. He emphasized that technological growth has a more decisive influence on the level of damage than the climate itself.

The expert also pointed out that global warming does not only have negative effects. For example, sailing the Northern Sea Route could increase German GDP, and the CO2 fertilization effect could lead to higher crop yields in Germany.

One question that Kofner deliberately left out of the discussion was whether humans are primarily responsible for climate change through CO2 emissions. Instead, he presented libertarian climate-economic solutions based on the assumption that this is the case.

He differentiated between adaptation and mitigation strategies in climate policy and argued that adaptation measures such as improved disaster management and innovative agricultural technologies are cheaper, more efficient and less invasive than emission reduction measures.

Kofner strongly criticized the current German climate policy, which he described as planned economy, inefficient, anti-freedom and environmentally destructive. He raised the question of whether the real goal of the “green transformation” was socialism.

As alternative approaches to CO2 reduction, the economic researcher presented a libertarian approach based on the defense of private property rights, the establishment of a voluntary international climate fund that promotes the reduction of CO2 emissions in countries with the lowest costs, and the promotion of reforestation measures as the cheapest and most efficient variant of “carbon capture and storage / usage”.

The event ended with a lively discussion and numerous questions from the participants. Among other things, the potential switch to a hydrogen economy was critically examined, as hydrogen has a significantly higher global warming effect than CO2.

The moderator concluded by referring to other events planned by the Hayek Society that would deal with similar topics.

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