Environmental Policies

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The think tanks within the Stockholm Network that comment on the question of climate change assume the following premise: freedom of markets limitation of state regulation. According to these think tanks, this premise should underlie all climate and environmental policy projects. However, they don't agree on the question of whether a) there is an anthropogenic climate change at all and b) which measures should be taken if there was one.

Denial of Anthropogenic Climate Change

The opinions voiced on climate change range from firm climate change sceptics to the milder form of denial - agnosticism. Think Tanks of the first category doubt the scientific legitimacy of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They challenge the IPCC's authority with the argument the IPCC's agenda had been influenced by political interests. Further they allege climate researcher working for the IPCC are dependent on budget of predisposed circles regarding the climate change question. Moreover firm climate change sceptics consider international climate protection measures as ecologically meaningless and economically harmful. Among those think tanks some also develop scientific counter arguments challenging the thesis of the anthropogenic climate change. Agnostic think tanks argue, however, climate change cannot be completely precluded but cannot be proven either with contemporary means. Furthermore they argue currently applied models are unsound and/ or are not able to compensate for shortcomings of empirical data.

An argumentative side line points out possible from region to region different and in temperate zones even positive effects of climate warming.

Criticism of the Precautionary Principle

The Kyoto protocoll codifies the precautionary principle that has been criticized from two angles. Firstly, climate change sceptics claim it impossible to exactly project the effects of green house gas emissions on the global climate. Secondly, they assume that markets and businesses are capable of efficiently adjusting to factual climate changes whenever they might occur. The climate change sceptics furthermore allege states would use the precautionary principle to legitimize interference with market and business freedom with regard climate protection policies. While this empowers states the discovering function of free markets is curtailed. To them free discovery of business makes for their economic and technological adaptability, which is necessary to respond flexibly and efficiently to changes of environmental conditions. Climate change sceptics consider leaving ecological change, where necessary, to market processes the more efficient alternative than state regulated CO2 emission limits and public advancement of climate friendly energy sources.

Acceptance of the Anthropogenic Climate Change

A number especially ordo theoratically oriented (cf. Financial and Economic crises think tanks take the anthropogenic climate change as given and consider precautionary intervention and measures of the state as necessary.

The majority of those think tanks opts for emission rights trade considering, from a market economy perspective, it an appropriate procedure to lead the economy on a climate friendly development path.

They reject direct public funding of sustainable energy sources regarding it generally inefficient and too expensive. Like the climate change sceptics the think tanks of the ordo theoretical category rely on free markets'flexibility, adaptability and ability to generate innovations.

Authors of contributions referring to the European Union furthermore stress the importance of free trade with energy efficient technologies pointing out that contributions to CO2 economization of the EU internationally carry less weight than those of the U.S., China and in the future of India. While think tanks being sceptical of anthropogenic climate change exclusively emphasize how unnecessary and expensive any kind of climate protection policy is. Members of the Stockholm network who recognize the problem of anthropogenic climate change observe market oppotuntities due to regulatory frameworks, international economic development and uneven characteristics of economies. Such Market opportunities in turn give reason for both the theoretical and practical interest to further liberalize foreign trade.

By the By

Climate policy is one out of three thematic foci Stockholm Network (als Think Tank) that are represented by periodicals. The last issue of the periodical "Climate of Opinion" reports rather unemotionally about the failure of the Copenhagen climate change negotiations due to the international main emitters' unability to come up with an agreement. This failure reassured the author and soothes worries the state complying with internationally agreed climate protection goals would curtail market and business freedom.

Think Tanks Concerned with Climate Policy and Climate Change

The think tanks here are sorted into two categories. One group comprises those think tanks that acknowledge the anthropogenic climate change, they are affirmative of that fact and are labelled "affirmative". In the second group there are think tanks that deny or at least are sceptical of anthropogenic climate change. Those are labelled "sceptical" for short.


is critical of tariff and non-tariff protective measures implemented by way of EU directive for EU producers of renewable energy. (Green Protectionism in the European Union: How Europe’s Biofuels Policy and the Renewable Energy Directive Violate WTO Commitments). According to this paper, the aformentioned EU directive on renewable energies does not formulate climate policy but rather energy policy. Further the paper claims that hindering non-EU providers of non-fossil energy sources to enter the market would thwart efforts of climate protection. Free trade would also enhance efficiency of climate protection policies. Only very high import tariffs according to carbon content of energy carriers would have an effect on exporters' climate policies, which, however, would at the same time yield high welfare losses. A more reasonable alternative would be the promotion of climate friendly goods.

is of the opinion that climatology does not constitue as hard or accurate science; is also critical of the protectionist tnedency of the EU directive on renewables; opts for state regulation as measure for climate protection to support private initiative; criticizes welfare losses through climate protection measures resting upon questionable models.
rather sceptical

17 opinion pieces
denies scientific legitimacy of anthropogenic climate change assumption; criticizes the IPCC as political entity, does not consider it a scientific one; on the institute's website the item Environnement lists 100 URLs connecting to mainly external articles dealing with a variaty of environmental policy issues.

questions the efficiency of promoting green technologies (especially wind and solar power)in order to generate employment; at the same doubts about reliability climate change prognosis models; opts for nuclear energy, however, more so for reasons of energy security than for climate change protection reasons; although according to the institute nuclear energy also owns up to that quality.


positively acknowledges carbon trade schemes as measure for generating public revenues.
affirmative (only secondary)

Czech Republic

brings into question whether the current data base is sufficient to prove a warming trend of the planet's atmosphere(distribution of measuring stations, stratosphere measurments by NASA do not back a warming trend); energy policy should be guided by efficiency considerations and by a questionable hypothesis.
Vaclav Klaus is a decisive anthropogenic climate change denier and propagates his opinion internationally.


Centre for Political Studies (CEPOS) - http://www.cepos.dk/ criticizes the Danish wind energy policy as inefficient (Denmark exports surplus wind generated electrical energy to Sweden and Norway (about 50 percent), where low carbon energy is substituted by the import)); Energy produced by wind furthermore is held to be a very expensive way to save carbon (87 € per ton CO2). The institute acknowledges the need for an U-Turn in energy production in principle, but arguments suggesting long term employment effects due to subsidies for wind energy are rejected. Subsidies are held to move employment from traditional energy production to subsidized segements.

(partly guest contributions from U.S. institutes ) published 258 opinion pieces on environmental policy issues from 2005 to 2010, partly on questions concerning climate change; denial of scientific tenability of anthropogenic climate change; is further of the opinion a liberal market economy is capable of adjusting to conditions of a potential climate change; presumes politcal motives for the thesis of the anthropogenic climate change; assaults the status of the IPCC and its scientific expertise by way of arguing that the involved state funded climate researchers are not unbiased.


The EVA has published an aritcle concerning the question of climate change by Pentti Vartia, the then director of its sister institute ETLA. The article originates with a talk given at the Fortum Research Seminar 2000. Vartia contemplates on the scientific assessment of the intensity of climate change and mankind's share in the same, looks at regional consequences, appropriate protective measures as being in flux. Furthermore Vartia is of the opinion that the current state of knowledge necessitates on going research. Generally he is assertive of the Kyoto protocol demands. Climate protection measures should be administered as economically flexible as possible whereby CO2 schemes are considered appropriate instruments. He points to the significance of economic technological innovations for coping with climate change. In October 2008 the EVA hosted a discussion round at which among others the environment minister talked about climate policy issues.


A central issue is carbon tax (10 contributions)

    • positive review of climate change sceptic book, which however is mainly concerned with efforts of reducing CO2 emissions stressing the futility of these efforts; the argument is that reduction in highly industrialized region will be compensated by increasing emissions in newly industrialized countries. (Sandrine Gorreri)
    • carbon tax is partly considered inefficient and partly even economically harmful
    • Europe-wide there should be a fixed carbon tax for reasons regarding competiveness and dimension
    • has concerns about extrem expansion of wind power for energy-technological and economic reasons; no fundamental criticism however
      rather sceptical

presupposes anthropogenic climate change
the "Umwelt und Wettbewerbsfähigkeit: eine globale Strategie für Europa" suggests an economically favorable path to energetically remodelling Europe; the book points out that Europe's contribution should be limited in the face of CO2 emissions by the USA, China, and India. Favorable mechanisms would be active free trade policies that imply ecological issues, mobilizing innovational strength of markets, coordination of EU climate protection policies also considering implementing of compensatory measures for states with especially energy intensive industries (edited by Elvire Fabry, director of Fondapol, and Damien Tresallet, Research Fellow)

Institut Euro 92 - http://www.euro92.com/ Considers several aspects in current state of climatology unsettled and dubious: 1. question of whether climate warming is caused by mankind; 2. assessment of economic and ecological consequences of climate change; 3. questioning of whether applied methods for preventing climate change are appropriate; suggests abandoning the precautionary principle and instead eliminating subsidies that stimulate redundant consumption ; further suggesting liberalizing markets for energy production and consumption in order to strengthen innovative potential; the institute also points to the fact that advantages and disadvantages of climate change are unevenly allocated in a global perspective and to the possible advantage of climate change for states in temperate zone.
rather sceptical

Exclusive focus on environmental policy with emphasis on climate change; denies anthropogenic climate change, criticizes subsidies for climate friendly industries; also denies positive effects of ecologization of the economy on employment.

No programmatic position regarding the question of climate change; considers climate policy merely as an area of negotiating foreign trade and innovation opportunities.

Denies anthropogenic climate change illustrated in contribution by R. Nef, P. Bessard (Liberales Institut Zürich), F. Singer (NIPCC).

Climate policies is one of the main areas of the Institute.
Denies anthropogenic climate change, attempts to undermine credibility of climate researchers by e.g. pointing to their dependence on third-party funds, by way of politicizing of the IPCC; co-organizes overall climate change sceptical international conferences; is critical of the precautionary principle and political decision making being influenced by mere hypotheses; Public funding of photovoltaics means supporting a kind of energy production, which is the most inefficient kind in our region. Superficially increased demand draws off volume of electrical energy from regions where the production of solar energy would be more productive.

Current: conference „Requirements for energy policies: secure energy supply, climate change, profitability?" (Berlin, April 20, 2010) "Instruments with market economies and environmental policy objectives substitute well-intentioned ecological micro coordination in order to utilize competiveness as driver for innovation, cost cutter and means of discovery for new technologies.” Different positions ranging from denying substantial effects of green house gas emissions to acknowledging certain IPCC assessments and to committing to renewable energies in connection with state subsidies for research on the latter; In the context of energy and climate policy the foundation opts for

  1. internalizing of external costs
  2. applying market economy consistent instruments such as emission rights trade
  3. utilization of the market economy mechanism of competition in order to increase efficiency speed up the development of climate friendly technologies.


Several events concerned with environmental policies between 1997 and 2000, which are not documented; close to dominant positions in the Federal Republic of Germany;


Lecture series: regulatory lectures engaging with question of energy markets and promoting renewable energies; no information regarding the lectures’ content provided;

Rejects carbon taxes because they are considered inefficient, unfair and expensive; study subsidized wind and solar energy production in which the author denies positive effects on employment; further the study claims higher costs for energy generated by wind and solar power compared to implementation of energy saving innovations; does not regard the IPCC as scientific authority rather considers it as politicized entity; points to positions of climate change sceptics by conceding warranted doubts;

Demand construction of new nuclear power plants for reasons of energy supply security and national independence; No or little reference to issue of climate change; Study about renewable energies, however, only available in Italian; points to uncertainties in arguments pro anthropogenic climate change in one of its book publications; politics of reducing CO2 emissions are considered senseless and expensive given the fact that in their opinion science still owes hard proof of anthropogenic climate change;