Eco-innovation in Latvia: 2012 update
|Eco-innovation in Latvia: 2012 update|
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The year 2012 was marked by stable economic growth with a rate of around 5% after the deep recession experienced in 2008-2010. The overarching policy objective for the upcoming years is to further speed up the economic recovery. Thus there is an emphasis to tackle those areas of environmental concern, which can lead to improved economic performance in short to medium term. For example, important policy developments are underway in the fields of energy efficiency and waste management. The new Waste Management Plan 2013-2020 introduces the vision that regards waste as useful economic resources and foresees a number of initiatives for more sustainable approach to recycling and reuse of materials.
Latvia does not have a dedicated eco-innovation policy. The eco-innovation concept and challenges are still poorly understood in policy-making, private sector and wider society. In 2012, the discourse on green economy and green growth has entered the wider policy debate in Latvia. In the process of elaborating the National Development Plan 2014-2020, the Minister of the Environment and Regional Development has underlined the importance of intelligent, efficient and creative use of natural resources as a source for economic growth and well-being and voiced the necessity for further policy actions in this area. Nevertheless, the draft of the National Development Plan does not yet go further than outlining an action plan for improving energy efficiency (in buildings and manufacturing) and fostering the development and deployment of new energy technologies based on renewables. The first call of eco-innovation support scheme financed by the EU has also been launched in 2012, but the rate of applications has been negligible. Further awareness raising initiatives are necessary to promote the general understanding and public support to eco-innovation.
The 2012 Eco-innovation Scoreboard places Latvia only 23rd in the EU27 ranking, while in 2011 it took 19th position. It belongs to the group of modest eco-innovators. The eco-innovation score has decreased from 77 points in 2011 to 71 points in 2012. In comparison to 2011 Scoreboard, the most notable decrease for Latvia has been in eco-innovation input indicators from 50 to 30 points that reflect the data of the recent economic downturn characterised by significant reduction in R&D funding. Also environmental outcomes indicators decreased from 82 to 66. Eco-innovation activities have only slightly intensified reaching 45 points, but are still well below the EU average. The outputs have increased marginally and reflect the EU average due to good eco-innovation coverage in media and publications. Socio-economic outcomes have remained stable due to high employment and good turnover in eco-industries.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 12:51|