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Journal number 4 ∘ Denys Tarasenko Anna Chechel

Summary. The main trends and socio-ecological consequences of the "green economy" development in the European Union countries that could be considered as useful experience for Ukraine on the path to sustainable development have been defined, which can lead to significant structural changes in the system-forming sectors of the economy such as energy, construction, agriculture, etc. that affect the production apparatus updating, energy efficiency of production increase, stimulates the transition to alternative energy sources and reduces the greenhouse gas emissions level. Thus, it has been proved that the "green" infrastructure development provides for the economic development intensification in terms of supply and demand, while expanding employment and helping to reduce unemployment.

Key words: sustainable development, "green economy", socio-economic consequences, European experience, economic policy, environmental policy.

Target setting in general form. Link with scientific and practical tasks

The main principles, priorities and tools for implementing the Concept of Sustainable Development have led to the numerous strategies development aimed at ensuring the lives of future generations. In the countries of the European Union, the Strategy for Sustainable Development was adopted in 2001 and is based on the following priority objectives: financial support for maintaining stable production and high consumption levels; observance of social equality guarantees; stimulation of the environment pollution reduction; landscapes organization and non-renewable natural resources protection; biodiversity conservation. An important component of the financial model of sustainable development in European countries is the taxation reduction of labor payments and the increase of resource and environmental taxes, which is of particular relevance to Ukraine and is on the path of European integration [1].

The purpose of the paper is to identify the main trends and socio-economic implications of the "green economy" in the European Union, which could be considered as a useful experience for Ukraine on the path to sustainable development.

Recent research and publications analysis. Uninvestigated parts of general matters defining.

S. Bila, D. Syrokhman [1] devoted their scientific works to studying the trends, traditions and experience in implementing the policy of sustainable development in the European Union, the theoretical and practical aspects of forming the conditions for the "green economy" development were reflected in the works of domestic scientists such as Ye. Khlobists, V. Trofimchuk, A. Chechel, [16] and foreign authors, such as C. Allen [8], B. Porfiriev [15], and others. However, constant changes in foreign policy and the world economy determine the new trends in the "green economy" development in the European Union countries, which are also appropriate to identify and consider as a useful experience for Ukraine on the path to sustainable development.

Statement of basic materials. Justification of the results.

The main principles of the European Union's economic policy. During 2008-2010, Europe and the world as a whole faced an extremely difficult economic crisis since the Great Depression. As a result, Europe took a step back in the economic plan and in the overall development of the European Union. In March 2010, in order to ensure a reasonable, sustainable and comprehensive growth, the EU approved a new European strategy for economic development for the next 10 years - the Europe 2020 strategy [2].

The Europe 2020 strategy reveals the European social and economic concept of the 21st century and gives an insight into how Europe is going to come out of the crisis and how to bring today's instability towards smart, sustainable and comprehensive growth and development. To achieve the necessary results, Europe will need to strengthen economic governance [2].

Europe 2020 sets three main factors for strengthening the economy [3]:

- reasonable growth: economic development, based on knowledge and innovation;

- Sustainable growth: creating an economy based on the appropriate use of resources, ecology and competition;

- Comprehensive growth: promoting higher employment rates, achieving social and territorial consensus.

The Europe 2020 Strategy sets the following main goals [4]:

- 75% of the population aged 20-64 must be employed;

- 3% of EU GDP must be invested in research and development;

- achievement of the energy policy goals and policy on climate change (including 30% reduction of environmental pollution);

- the proportion of pupils dropping out of school must not exceed 10%. Not less than 40% of young people must have higher education;

- Reducing the number of people at risk of falling below the poverty line by 20 million.

In order for Member States to adapt the Europe 2020 strategy to their specific situation, the European Commission proposes that states transform the EU's objectives into their national strategies.

EU ecological policy. In 1989, economists, environmentalists in the consultation for the UK government to ensure sustainable development and its measurement concluded that scientific and technological progress due to which mankind had improved material well-being but gained at the cost of the planet environment deterioration. [5] In the same study, they proposed the principles of national economic policy for the United Kingdom Government introducing the term "green economy" into scientific circles. For several years, those economists published new environmental and economic studies [6-7] actualizing the issue upon the environmental destruction importance, but arguing that such destruction gained global proportions and related climate change, ozone depletion, tropical deforestation, loss of natural resources in developing countries. Their conclusion as a result of these studies was radical: the world community needs a radical revision of the traditional economic development model [8].

Since then, and to this day, the concept of a "green" economy has gained popularity thanks to the national governments support and international organizations, and has become one of the priorities for implementation around the world, especially since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro The "Agenda for the 21st Century" [9] was adopted, and later - the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [10]. These roadmaps proclaim the introduction of "green" measures of economic policy within the framework of the sustainable development strategy.

Speaking about the development of the "green politics" principles in European scientific research and socio-economic strategies of national countries, it has to be pointed out that, regardless of the initial research approaches to the "green" economy, the main importance for it is the integration of economic and environmental policies, in which the opportunities for new sources of economic growth while preventing the pressure on nature have been highlighted [11-13]. All of this implies a wide range of measures ranging from economic instruments such as taxes, subsidies and trade patterns, as well as regulatory policies, including standards setting and ending with non-economic measures such as voluntary approaches and information provision. The basic UN document in Europe is the UN publication, in particular UNEP (United Nations Environment Program), UNDESA (Department of Economic and Social Affairs), UNCTAD (Trade and Development Conference), UNCSAD (Sustainable Development Conference), describe the concept of the "green" economy, its fundamental principles, advantages, risks and generalize international experience in this field. Numerous non-governmental organizations have also been making efforts in recent years to promote the green economy concept. At the same time, despite more than 20-year history of this concept, it remains open for discussion and continues to evolve.

The most authoritative and widely used definition of "green economy" is formulated in the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP): "Green" economy is an economy that provides long-term improvements in people's welfare and reduction of inequality, while allowing future generations to avoid significant risks for the surrounding environment and its impoverishment" [14].

The same document emphasizes the relationship between the concepts of the "green" economy and sustainable development: the concept of a "green" economy does not replace the concept of sustainable development, but now more and more widespread acknowledgment that the achievement of stability almost entirely depends on the creation of a proper economy. For decades when new wealth was created using the “brown” economy model, society did not solve such problems as social marginalization and resource depletion, and the Millennium Development Goals have not still been achieved. Resilience remains the most important long-term goal, but for its achievement the economy must be "green" [14].

The concept of "green" growth emphasizes the importance of integrating environmental and economic policies in such a way that it will reveal new potential sources of economic growth without creating an "unsustainable" load on the quantity and quality of natural resources. The transition to a "green" economy requires the application of a wide range of measures that include economic instruments such as taxes, subsidies and emission trading schemes, state regulation measures, such as standard setting, as well as non-economic measures i.e. voluntary initiatives and information provision.

The "green" economy can also be seen as a system of principles, goals and activities. A list of the basic principles of the green economy as outlined in the ECLAC (United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) (2010), EEA (European Economic Area) (2010), UNEP (2011) OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) (2011) can be summarized as follows:

- equality and justice, both within one generation and between generations;

- compliance with the principles of sustainable development;

- the application of the precautionary principle regarding potential impacts on society and the environment;

- adequate accounting of natural and social capital, for example, through internalization of external social and environmental effects, green accounting, cost accounting throughout the life cycle, and improved governance with the participation of stakeholders;

- sustainable and efficient use of resources, consumption and production;

- contributing to the achievement of existing macroeconomic goals through the creation of green jobs, poverty reduction, competitiveness and growth in key sectors of the economy.

The implementation of these principles requires the creation of appropriate conditions and a balanced well-considered policy of national governments, which will give priority to those types and results of economic activity that, along with modernization and increase in the efficiency of production, will contribute to the quality of life and the environment improvement.

As the foundation for "green" growth, basic green paper documents consider modernizing the energy base of the economy, since:

energy plays a strategic role in economic development and security at all levels (national, regional and international);

in the whole world, the tendency towards the depletion of the most affordable and profitable reserves of traditional energy sources, primarily oil, is increasing.

The objects of energy, in the first place, are the source of the largest volume of man-made emissions that lead to global climate change, caused by increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The main direction of energy modernization is the development of the so-called alternative (non-traditional, pure or "green") energy. Its widespread interpretation includes the use of energy-efficient technologies, as well as environmentally friendly, low-carbon energy sources (including renewable sources and nuclear power plants) that are increasingly displacing hydroecological fuels. In turn, in the structure of the fuel itself there is a rapid replacement of oil (black oil) and coal with natural gas as an environmentally friendly energy source. Thus, diversification and decarbonization act as priority directions of energy modernization, and taking into account the above-mentioned basic role in the development of the economic complex, the core of the "green" economic growth in general.

As experts note, for the global green economy there are quite fast growth rates, which is due to the following factors:

- institutional: by mid-2014, 96 states had normatively set targets for the renewable energy development, including 73 regulatory acts describing the use of biofuels, and 81 - special beneficial tariffs for connecting these energy sources (feed-in-tariffs);

- investment: primarily due to the rapid growth of G20 countries' investments, of which only more than $ 300 billion was spent on the renewable energy sources development in 2014 [15].

In the EU, the immense share of funds was invested in the wind and solar energy development, primarily in projects for the large wind power plants construction in Western Europe (sea-based). By 2020, virtually all EU countries plan that renewable energy sources will be 20% of all energy sources.

In addition to alternative energy, the European market for environmentally-friendly technologies and equipment has grown significantly, which, without energy, exceeded $ 500 billion.

Over the past five years, sales of so-called organic food and beverages (produced without the use of chemical additives) have doubled. Currently it accounts for 3.5% of the total food market. At the same time, employment in the organic food production and beverages in the EU in the 2000s (by 2011) increased by an average of 19% per year. The 2012 agreement between the EU and the US on the mutual recognition of organic products certification has given a new impetus to the organic products growth in these markets, as this agreement opened the way for the trade barriers elimination and the unhindered sale of products certified as organic in the United States and EU countries.

The noted trend is characteristic not only for food, but also for a wider range of consumer goods, for example, wood products, including furniture. Sales of such a product certified as ecologically pure, in the past three years, increased fourfold. In addition, since 2007, in the UK, and in subsequent years in other European countries, the practice of so-called carbon bearing labeling of food and other products has been implemented, indicating the amount (in grams) of greenhouse gas emissions in the production and transportation of units of goods.

An important role is played by the powerful multiplicative and anti-crisis effects of the "green" economy. The first is provided by the economic instrument as environmental innovation development. For example, in the New Growth Strategy of 2009/2010 (Germany), these innovations are seen as the main link between economic, industrial and environmental policies, and investments in these innovations are a factor in increasing the economy competitiveness.

In terms of the anti-crisis potential of eco-innovation and the "green" economy, the economy as a whole can increase employment and mitigate unemployment, stimulate activity in other areas of the economy. For example, from the general crisis package for the "green" sector in Germany from 13% to 16%, in France - 21%, and so on.

Other factors that determine the rapid development of this area of ​​the economy - the factor of environmental cleanliness and environmental safety and the factor of reducing the risks of climate change. The fact is that under other equal conditions "green" production technologies are less ambitious and risky than industrial technologies of the 20th century, since their use significantly reduces emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases into the environment, reducing the risks of large-scale accidents similar to radiation catastrophes in Chernobyl (USSR, 1986) and Fukushima (Japan, 2011) or industrial-ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (USA, 2010).

The third factor that contributes to the strengthening of the "green" economy position is the high level of scientific and technological "green" production, which provides a rapid transition to a new (sixth) technological process. It is increasingly defines the competitiveness of national economies nowadays.

Significant investments and the rapid growth of the green economy have generated serious expectations of its strong development in the coming decades among a considerable part of analysts and political circles. It is evidenced by numerous reports and forecasts (including UN specialized organizations) prepared with the participation of international experts, management bodies and research institutions [16].

As the main scenario, experts are considering the option of transforming the European economy by 2050 into a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy, and as the main mechanism for implementing this scenario, the annual investment for 2012-2050 is about $ 1.3 trillion in ten key sectors. These include agriculture, forestry, water management, fisheries, housing and utilities, energy, industry, tourism, transport, waste management and recycling. In the first four sectors, the development of which most depends on the availability of natural capital and weather and climatic risks, it is recommended to send a quarter of these green investments ($ 325 million, or 0.5% of world GDP).

It is planned to attract funds necessary for investments provided that a well-considered state policy is implemented and innovative financing mechanisms, including greenhouse gas emission trading and microfinance, are used. It is expected that implementation of this scenario will provide for 5-10 years higher annual growth rates than investments in normal development, in the absence of negative consequences for the environment. It is expected that the ratio of emissions to the ecological capacity of the environment (the so-called ecological footprint or imprint), which is today 1.5, will have decreased to 1.2 until 2050, significantly approaching the first level consistent with sustainable development, whereas it can exceed 2. In addition, due to a significant increase in energy efficiency as a return from "green" investments, the world economy's energy demand is projected to decline by 40% by 2050 compared to the inertial development scenario (i.e., while maintaining the amount of energy consumption at the level of 2011) and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to their current level of one third.

Conclusions and perspectives of further scientific developments

However, despite the fact that the scenario of the "green economy" is definitely progressive and positive for the world socio-economic development, reducing its environmental and climate risks, there are factors and conditions in the world that can affect the performance of projected global transformations. In particular, such as the uneven economic development, the ambiguity of supporting the "green economy" by key actors of the international community - national states and corporate supranational entities; insufficient development of reforms to stimulate public investment and development costs for green industries.

Thus, the consideration of the main trends and factors of the "green economy" development in the countries of the European Union allows identifying significant structural changes in the system-based sectors of the economy such as energy, construction, agriculture, etc. As a result, the production unit is updated, the energy efficiency of production is increased, and the transition to alternative energy sources and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the "green" infrastructure development enhances the economic development of both supply and demand, while expanding employment and helping to reduce unemployment.


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