Ignore the fairly standard "Left bashing" and philosopher Roger Scruton's A Righter Shade of Green is a fairly compelling read, offering a "Conservative" solution to environmental concerns. Apparently, it all comes down to the concept of a "trust":
It is here that I think we Anglophone conservatives can show our relevance. The common law of England developed, through the branch known as equity, a concept that has no real equivalent in Napoleonic or Roman legal systems: the concept of the trust. Trusteeship is a form of property in which the legal owner has only duties, and all rights are transferred to, and “held in trust for,” the beneficiary. Through the device of the trust, English and American law has been able to protect the interests of absent generations by compelling the current owners of property to set their own interests aside. The trustees of a bequest must respect the wishes of the testator and in so doing—by holding their own desires and present emergencies in abeyance— will serve the interests of future generations. This form of ownership, and the moral idea contained in it, ought to be regarded as defining the conservative approach. We don’t solve environmental problems by abandoning our attachment to private property or free enterprise, but we can make sure that these notions are shaped by the spirit of trusteeship.
What then is the conservative solution, if there is one? A revival of trusteeship is the only hope for the future, and this attitude is natural to human beings. They enter the world through no choice of their own, to be greeted, as a rule, by the love of parents and the security of home. The trustee is the one who recognizes that his home, and all that it means, are inherited things, things to be safeguarded and passed on. This attitude exercises itself at the local level in the voluntary associations and small institutions of civil society. It is the core component in that associational genius that Tocqueville discerned in the American people. It is the legacy of a political order that regards people, not rulers, as the source of authority and the fount of responsible decision-making.
All well and good. There are, however, a couple of interlinked problems with this line of reasoning. On the one hand, if Scruton is suggesting (but I think he is not) that the concept of trusteeship become central to environmental Law, then there is no sense in which his solution is not Statist. Indeed, several examples he gives of successful Environmental initiatives could only be described as State solutions--the English Town and Country Planning Act of 1946, for example. Who enforces that act?
On the other hand, if he is suggesting (as I think he is) that environmental initiatives be created entirely through the acts of voluntary associations then, well, I'm not sure he understands what these kinds of organizations typically do. Rate payers groups, Industry associations, exist at least partly to lobby the state for this or that favorable outcome. Lobby, that is, for State solutions favorable to their interests.
So there is nothing distinctively Conservative about these ideas.
h/t to the EcoLibertarian.