Margaret Thatcher and Climate Change

Biggest international news (sad, or otherwise, depending on who you ask) this week has been the passing away of Margaret Thatcher, the British PM from the 80’s (I personally subscribe to de mortius nil nisi bonum view) . She was known for many things, but not many people would have guessed that she was an early advocate of the need to do something about climate change.
Combine that with her widely known neo-liberal capitalist approach and free-market philosophy, and one could almost trace the notion of ‘carbon pricing’ back to Thatcher’s 1980’s. Fast-forward about 25 years to the present time, and you see the natural ideological offspring of Thatcherism that can be found on the right of the political spectrum to be much less enthusiastic about climate change, and about carbon pricing. The latter is particularly evident in current Australian politics.
What irony that the staunch followers of Iron Lady’s views and philosophy are staunchly opposed to one of the things that she was apparently very passionate about, and for which she would have probably proposed a typical Thatcherist policy: put a price on it!

Author: Tiho Ancev

Tiho Ancev is a Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics in the School of Economics, University of Sydney. His main research areas are agricultural, environmental, natural resource and energy economics. Tiho’s main contributions have been in water economics and policy, economics of energy, economics of air pollution and climate change policies, and economics of precision agriculture and agricultural input use. He has published widely on these topics in top international peer reviewed journals. Tiho has led and contributed to national and international research projects in these research areas. He is currently the Managing Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.