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ECOLOGICAL SAFETY OF THE REGIONS: ACHIEVING THE EUSTANDARDS

Olena Yermoshkina

On the basis of comparative analysis of the results of economic, production and environ­mental activity and indexes that testify the quality of life in context of environment of European countries the main trends of maintaining the ecological safety of the regions were defined. The cru­cial issues should be solved in the framework of providing the high level of ecological safety of the regions in globalization and integration conditions are discovered. The main directions for pre-ins countries in achieving the EU standards of environmental protection were proposed.

Introduction

Ecology as one of the most crucial issue of today's reality which reflects the influence of human activity in different fields on the environment requires more and more attention from both scientists and experts. Only in 2002-2007 in Ukraine the level of СО2 emissions has increased on 12% per capita. Of course the leaders in this field are industrially developed regions (Donets'k, Lugans'k and Dnipropetrovs'k). Another trend existed in this field in Ukraine is directing more than 72% of funds granted for ecological actions on elimination of consequences of harmful influence on the environment [1, 2]. At the same time in accordance to programs of EU [3] the priorities of main­taining the ecological safety in all EU regions emphasizes on prevention of harmful influence rather that on liquidation of consequences of this influence (in contradiction, in Ukraine the preventive ecological actions obtain only 0,52 % of total funds directed on the ecology). And in this case the question is not in lack of financial resources but in lack of willingness of business owner to invest into ecology [4, 5]. Taking into account the ecological priorities of the EU countries Ukraine at­tempting to enter the EU through association should develop an effective mechanism of achieving the EU standards of environmental protection.

Critical analysis of researches in this field let define the several essential directions of re­searches: co-operation and correlation between level of development of economic systems and their ecological safety [7, 8, 11, 12, 17, 19], decision making with accounting of ecological components [13, 14, 20], institutional [10, 15], social [16] factors, introducing the ecology accounting [6], finan­cial mechanism of realization of ecological projects [9, 18], etc.

Today in the framework of European integration of Ukraine it's necessary to develop con­crete directions of achieving the EU standards not only by creation the corresponded legislation [3], but also by defining and providing the proper direction in changing the parameters that testifies the influence of human activity on ecology.

In this context the goal that should be achieved in the presented research is to define the ba­sic trends of maintaining the ecological safety of EU regions and to propose the main directions for pre-ins countries in achieving the EU standards of environmental protection.

1. Basic parameters of ecological safty of European regions: trends and challangies.

In order to solve the settled problem the following indexes were selected: GNI, GDP, elec­tric power consumption, and life expectancy at birth, CO2 emission, energy use, high-technology exports, health expenditures, population growth. The basic tools used for analysis are cluster and trend analysis for selected EU countries, Norway, Ukraine, Switzerland and Russia, experts' as­sessment of importance of basic parameters of ecological safety of the region.

The basis for defining ecological clusters was the following correlations: GNI per capita vs. electric power consumption; high-technology exports vs. energy use; GDP per capita vs. GDP per unit of energy use; GNI per capita vs. life expectancy at birth; life expectancy at birth vs. CO2 emis­

sion per capita; GDP per capita vs. CO2 emission per capita; GDP per unit of energy use vs. CO2 emission per capita.

The historical series analysis used for defining closeness of country's trends to EU trends was concentrated on the following correlations: growth of GNI per capita vs. growth of electric power consumption; growth of GDP per capita vs. growth of GDP per unit of energy use; growth of GDP per unit of energy use vs. growth of CO2 emission per capita; growth of life expectancy at birth vs. growth of CO2 emission per capita; growth of GNI per capita vs. growth of life expectancy at birth; growth of GNI per capita vs. growth of health expenditures per capita; changes in growth of population vs. growth of CO2 emission per capita; changes in high-technology exports vs. growth of GNI per capita. Composition of the following components of model were integrated by ranking of experts' evaluation.

The main assumptions accepted for analysis were the following:

- periods to be analyzed were 2000, 2005 and 2009 years according to calculations of the World Bank [21];

- all ecological direct (CO2 emission, energy use, electric power consumption) and indirect (life expectancy at birth, population growth) indexes should be analyzed from the economic point of view because from the one hand exactly economic and production activity of human make a signifi­cant even determinative influence on ecology, and from the other hand highly efficient economic activity provides the funds for implementing the ecological improvements.

Analysis of distribution of EU countries by correlation of CO2 emission and life expectancy at birth lets define three principle groups of counties (Fig. 1).

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Source: calculated on the basis of the World Bank Data [21 ].

Fig.l. Clusterization of countries by the level of CO2 emission and life expectancy at birth

The first one includes countries with quite low level of CO2 emission (less than 6.3 metric tones per capita) and high level of life expectancy at birth (over 79 years). All countries of the first cluster (France, Sweden and Switzerland) during 2000-2009 years have been staying in the same cluster. Moreover, each country has significantly improve their position by reduction of CO2 emis­sion to lower than 6 metric tones per capita and increase the level of life expectancy at birth over 80 years. The second cluster presents countries (including EU average) with average level of life ex­pectancy at birth 79.5 years and variation of CO2 emission from 7.7 up to 10.0 metric tones per cap­ita. It should be mentioned that overall trend in this cluster are practically the same as in the first one - reduction of CO2 emission and increase in life expectancy (except Austria). Special attention should be paid to Slovenia which entered the second cluster in 2005 and quickly achieve the EU average both in CO2 emission and life expectancy. On the same way is Poland, which moves toward the cluster II extremely fast and at the end of 2009 were on the boarder position.

The third cluster presents countries with EU average level of life expectancy and higher level of CO2 emission - ecology risky cluster and includes Finland, Netherlands and in 2000 -Germany. The interest changes were in this cluster. Namely Norway, which was on the EU average level by both parameters during 2000-2009 years has left the II cluster and rapidly move to the top of III cluster. Totally opposite trend was resided to Germany, which passes from the III cluster to the second one. Ukraine and Russia were on special position: lowest level of life expectancy and increase of CO2 emission. But the trend of Ukraine testifies the slow movement toward cluster II. Position of Russia reflects the increasing level of ecological risk and worsening the environmental conditions, that leads to decrease in quality of life for the citizens.

In order to define the economical basis for increase of level of CO2 emission and to testify the validity of such changes countries were distributed by clusters by correlation between CO2 emission and energy use per unit of GDP (Fig. 2).

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ource: calculated on the basis of the World Bank Data [21].

Fig.2. Clusterization of countries by the level of CO2 emission and energy use per unit of GDP

As it shown on the Fig. 2 the same three clusters exist in energy use:

- I - "Low CO2 emission & Low energy use" - France, Sweden, Switzerland;

- II - "EU average" - UK, Austria, Denmark plus countries entered into cluster (Poland, Slovenia) and transitory countries (Germany - from III to II, Norway - from II to III);

- III - "Risky countries" - Finland, Netherlands, Norway;

- out of clusters countries: Czech Republic (pre-ins to III cluster), Russia and Ukraine.

Unfortunately Ukraine obtained the last position in the energy use efficiency. In spite of se­rious declining in energy use per $ of GDP the current level is far form EU average and even from Russia, which does not suffer from lack of energy resources instead of Ukraine. Irrational use of energy in the most cases is only "the top of iceberg" which illuminates the problems corresponded to efficiency of business maintaining, irrational institutional structure, lack of stimulators and moti­vators for investors to increase the energy use efficiency. Table 1 presents ranking of countries by the level of intensity of development in rational energy use.

Table 1

Level of intensity of development in rational energy use_

Country

ACO2 emissions per cap­ita

A GDP per capita weighted on EU average

Level of intensity of development*

Austria

0,053

1,266

3

Czech Republic

-0,075

1,272

1

Denmark

-0,054

1,485

1

Finland

0,056

1,268

3

France

-0,024

1,077

1

Germany

-0,053

0,934

1

Netherlands

0,017

1,451

3

Norway

0,213

2,471

3-R

Poland

0,057

0,531

4

Russia

0,134

1,019

3-R

Slovenia

0,156

1,029

3-R

Sweden

-0,052

0,746

2

Switzerland

-0,029

1,615

1

Ukraine

0,072

0,235

4

UK

-0,077

0,433

2

Source: calculated on the basis of the World Bank Data [21].

Level of intensity of development is defined as ratio of A GDP to ACO2 emissions per capita and distributed on the basis of GDP "EU average" and zero level of ACO2 emissions. So the rank "1" can be obtained by the country with reduction in CO2 emissions and significant (over EU aver­age) level of increase in GDP per capita. The rank "2"peculiar to countries with reduction in CO2 emissions and increase in GDP per capita (lower than EU average). Cluster 3 should be divided into to sub-clusters: "3" (increase in CO2 emissions and significant (over EU average) increase in GDP per capita) and "3-Risky" (increase in CO2 emissions exceed 10% and significant (over EU aver­age) increase in GDP per capita). The last sub-cluster reflects the quite high "price" for environment for GDP growth. And the forth cluster (presented by Poland and Ukraine) shows the low level of growth of GDP per capita and increase in CO2 emissions.

Analysis of efficiency of energy use makes possible to settle clear correlation between GDP per capita and energy use per unite of GDP (Fig. 3). The level of reliability of the defined correla­tions varies form 0.7589 to 0.8947. Defined correlations show that proper increase in GDP can't be achieved without rational use of energy. It should be mentioned that significant increase in GDP per capita can be achieved for example for Ukraine by reducing the energy use from current 0.435 to 0.350 as minimum. The following declining may lead to extremely fast growth of GDP per capita and from year to year this trend accelerates (if in 2000 decline in energy use from 0.45 to 0.35 pro­vides growth of GDP in 1.9 times, in 2009 the same declining leads to increase in GDP per capita in 2.28 times).

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Source: calculated on the basis of the World Bank Data [21].

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Fig. 3. Correlation of GDP per capita and Energy use per unit of GDP

Moreover, in modern conditions when the price for energy (especially gas and oil) going up the problem of implementation of high-technologies on energy saving and rational use of nature is extremely important. But almost over-EU trend is declining the share of high-technology products in total export. Against a background of EU average declining on 5.93% of share of export of high-technology products in total export during 2000-2009, such countries as UK, Finland and Nether­lands decrease this level to -10,5%, -13,4% and -14,9% correspondently. At the same time Czech Republic increase this share from 8.5% in 2000 up to 14.6 in 2009 (progress of Poland form 3.36 to 6.10, Ukraine 5.23 to 5.55).

So, taking into account defined trends and distribution of countries by the selected indexes, and quite tight direct and implicit correlation between ecological and economic indexes, it is possi­ble to assess the integrated index of ecological safety of the country and level of closeness to EU standards of ecological safety based on comparison of rate of growth of countries' indexes toward

EU level.

2. Level of ecological safty: assessment and directions for improvement

The integrated index of ecological safety of the country based on the composition of ex­perts' evaluation of importance of the given indexes, statistical assessment of closeness of correla­tion between indexes analyzed in the model and distribution of countries between clusters of eco­logical safety. Ranking of importance of each of 7 ratios varies from 0 to10 with possibility of use of fractional values (volume of samples - 45).

Complex use of experts' evaluation of importance corrected by evaluation of level of close­ness of correlation between indexes lets develop the following rank of weights of indexes included in the assessment model (Tab. 2). As it shown, the biggest weight belongs to tree key factors of eco­logical safety: correlation between level of population growth and level of CO2 emission, life ex­pectancy and level of CO2 emission, level of energy use per unit of GDP and GDP per capita.

Table 2

Rank of weights of indexes included in the assessment

of integrated index of ecological ^ safety

Index

Weight of index

Population growth / CO2 emission

9,9972

Life expectancy / CO2 emission

9,9467

Energy use per unit of GDP / GDP per capita

9,1576

GDP per unit of energy use / CO2 emission

8,9768

Life expectancy / GNI per capita

8,1649

Electric power consumption / GNI per capita

6,6795

Health expenditures / GNI per capita

5,1973

Source: own researches.

Clusterization of the countries was conducted on the basis of the assumptions:

- the basic principle of assessment is based on priority of ecology safety over economic development;

- all countries should be distributed between four clusters by level of ecology safety (1-most safe position; 4 - most risky position).

- all indexes should be considered in dynamics comparing 2009 to 2000 years;

- for ratios that involve level of CO2 emission (Population growth / CO2 emission, Life expectancy / CO2 emission and GDP per unit of energy use / CO2 emission) zero level is set on zero X-Y-point for other indexes the EU average is a zero level;

- the integrated index should be calculated as weighted average value. In the result of conducted calculations the integrated index of ecological safety for different

countries was determined on the following levels (Fig. 4).

IV cluster - high level of ecology risk

3,57

 

2,97 2,87 '

3,23

 

 

III cluster - medium level of ecology risk

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2,64

 

2,66

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,99 2,02

1,88

2,18

 

2,27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1,78

 

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