Keywords: sustainable development, eco-efficiency, Estonia, environmental space, renewable resources, environmental taxes, green accounting
On eco-efficiency and sustainable development in Estonia
The basic idea of sustainable development is a firm understanding that all resources, renewable as well as non-renewable, are limited. Human activities should not exceed the buffering capacity of the earth's ecosystems and the replenishment potential of material cycles. Use of non-renewable, mainly mineral, resources should be kept at the minimum possible level, postponing the depletion of resources as far as possible. Concepts of environmental space and dematerialisation lie at the foundation of the practical launching of sustainable development. Analysis of regional sustainability and ecological efficiency of energy production, the balance of CO2, water, etc. were analysed for Estonia and Ida-Virumaa, the north-eastern region of the country. The analysis carried out should be considered as a first step in the development and implementation of a national "green" accounting system and environmental tax system based on the concept of environmental space.