New Data Bucks Conventional Wisdom on Free Markets and the Environment

The Daily Signal | 2/19/2019 | Staff
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Patrick Tyrrell is a research coordinator in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for International Trade and Economics.

Miguel Pontifis is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

Politicians - Left - New - Deal - Environment

Politicians on the left are pushing a radical “Green New Deal,” which they say is necessary to save the environment. It wouldn’t save the environment—though it would do serious damage to our economy.

The surprising truth is that saving the environment and improving the economy are not at odds. In fact, new research from The Heritage Foundation using data from the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy show that economic freedom and environmental protection tend to go hand in hand.

Countries - People - Environment - Chart

In countries where people are economically freer, the environment is generally cleaner, as seen in the chart below.

This flies in the face of the Green New Deal, which aims to “mobilize every aspect of American society on a scale not seen since World War II”—translating into less economic freedom and more government control.

Correlation - Property - Rights - Protection - Protection

Even more striking, however, is the strong correlation that exists between private property rights protection and environmental protection. Countries that protect private property rights are highly likely to have cleaner environments as well, as the chart below illustrates.

Furthermore, three of the top 15 leaders in property rights in the 2019 Index of Economic Freedom—Switzerland, Sweden, and Ireland—also lead in the Environmental Performance Index, and all three have greater resource preservation, better air quality, greater bio diversity, and more pristine natural habitats.

Data - Surprise - Correlation - Property - Rights

This data may come as a surprise to some. What explains this high correlation between property rights and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Daily Signal
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