DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/53/S21.040

ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTMENTS AS FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY IN LATVIA

G. Mazure, I. Leibus
Wednesday 13 September 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, www.sgem.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-10-2 / ISSN 1314-2704, 29 June - 5 July, 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 53, 317-324 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/53/S21.040

ABSTRACT

The environmental investment programmes are targeted at the implementation of sustainable development activities, maintaining the quality of environment and biological diversity and ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources. In recent decade, Latvia has been one of the most active among the new EU Member States in the acquisition of the EU financial resources and other financial instruments for the implementation of the environmental policy targets in Latvia, especially in the spheres of environmental protection and climate change. The funds for environmental protection include investments and current expenditure for the environmental protection measures and they are primarily designed for air protection, sewage and waste management, biodiversity and landscape protection, environmental research and development as well as other environmental protection activities. The research aim is to evaluate the significance of environmental investments for the environmental protection and implementation of the environmental policy. The research is mainly based on the monographic descriptive method as well as the methods of analysis and synthesis are used to study the problem elements and synthesise coherencies or formulate regularities. Latvia’s accession to the EU prescribes ensuring the implementation of the urban wastewater treatment and greenhouse emissions reduction requirements. Therefore, sustainable development activities, maintenance of the environment and biodiversity quality, sustainable use of natural resources and public participation in decision-making are the most essential aspects for targeting financial resources thereof. The research results show that the EU financing is the most significant source of financial resources in the environmental sector constituting 61% of total environmental investments in the period 2007-2015. The national budget co-financing being an essential precondition for environmental investment amounts to 20%, while co-financing of particular project implementing institutions and local governments account for 17% and 2% respectively. The largest proportions of investments are directed for the development of water infrastructure (55%) and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (27%), followed by the development of waste management systems (8%) and environmental protection (6%). The environmental investments have helped improve the environmental quality, increase energy efficiency, develop wastewater and waste collection and treatment, recover waste dumpsites and reduce flood risks. These are only some of the advantages of environmental investments; however, they evidence the necessity for long-term use of financial instruments to improve the life quality for population. Nevertheless, large amounts of resources are invested in the environmental sector; the waste management system requires more investments due to the growing amounts of waste and overloaded dumpsites.

Keywords: environment, investment, water management, waste, emissions.