Free Market Environmentalism

Free Market Environmentalism (FME) is an approach to environmental problems that focuses on improving environmental quality using property rights and markets. It emphasizes three important points: 

  • Markets, property rights, and the rule of law are fundamental to economic growth, and economic growth is fundamental to improving environmental quality. There is a strong correlation between treatment of the environment and standards of living.

  • Property rights make the environment an asset rather than a liability by giving owners an incentive for stewardship.

  • Markets and the process of exchange give people who have different ideas and values regarding natural resources a way to cooperate rather than fight. When cooperation supplants conflict, gains from trade emerge.

FME allows PERC to view environmental challenges through a different lens and promote common-sense solutions such as:

Visit FME in Action for further examples and case studies.