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The economies of the Baltic Sea Region in relation to green economics, with particular focus on Latvia: environmental sustainability and well-being

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Economic activity has an impact on the environment, but the potential degree of this impact will depend on several factors which are mainly determined by the technology used. This paper analyses the potential environmental impact the economies of the Baltic Sea Region have on their respective countries. The Baltic Sea Region countries are characterised by two economic development scenarios, namely, market and transition economies. Income levels, applied technologies and environmental management practices in these countries differ considerably, and affect a variety of complex indices. These are used to evaluate a country's overall environmental situation and the well being of its inhabitants. An examination of the Baltic Sea Region indicates that high income levels and a stable development path in the 'old' EU member states can provide the grounds for technological advancement to reduce environmental impact. The Baltic Sea and good neighbouring relations serve as a common resource and as facilitators for active cooperation in environmental issues in the region.

Keywords: Baltic Sea Region, environmental impacts, sustainability, sustainable development, environmental management, well-being, Latvia, regional economies, economic development, transition economies, market economies, income levels, incomes, applied technologies, complex indices, stable development, EU, European Union, member states, common resources, facilitators, cooperation, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, green economics

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