Regional Environment Disparities and Europe 2020 Strategy's Goals

Author:Romeo Victor Ionescu
Position:Professor, PhD, 'Danubius' University of Galati
European Integration - Realities and Perspectives 2014
Performance and Risks in the European Economy
Regional Environment Disparities and Europe 2020 Strategy’s Goals
Romeo-Victor Ionescu
Abstract: The paper deals with the analysis o f the environmental goals‟ viability in Europe 2020 Strategy.
The analysis takes into consideration four indicators: total greenhouse gas emissions, share of renewable
energy in gross final energy consumption, primary energy consumption and final energy consumption. The
analysis is built on three steps: a comparative analysis between the Member States during 2002-2014,
followed by regressio n analysis and a forecast u ntil 2020. The regression analysis and the forecasts are
supported by SPSS19 software. All conclusions of the anal ysis are illustrated by the latest official statistic
data, pertinent tables and diagrams. The main conclusions of the paper are: EU2 8 is far away of achieving the
environment targets for 2020; there are great disparities between the Member States related to the
environment policy.
Keywords: greenhouse gas emissions; renewable energy; energy consumption; regional environment
JEL Classification: R10; R11; R19
1. General Approach
The global economy faces to a fabulous challenge: sustainable economic development. From this point
of view, environment becomes essential and restrictive for the future economic activities. A developed
country has to support better environment for the next generations. As a result, the global environment
challenge asks for global solutions because the environment problems are complex. On the other hand,
there are many stakeholders involved in both the causes and the solutions to environmental problems.
Moreover, the solving of the global environment problems requires changes in consumption and
pollution of the natural resources (Harris, 2012).
Other specialists consider that one of the most important concerns of modern life is environment. As a
result, the environmental problems have to be solved using global solutions able to guide the national
(individual) solutions, as well (Seitz & Hite, 2012).
One of the most balanced approach to environmental science instruction, with bias-free comparative
diagrams throughout and a focus on prevention of and solutions to environmental problems was
realised by George Tyler Miller (Miller, 2005). The global importance of the environment protection
is recognized be EU28, as well. This is why the environment preservation and improvement represent
main elements of the Europe 2020 Strategy (European Commission, 2010).
1. P rofessor, PhD, “Danubius” University of Galati, Address: 3 Galati Boulevard, 800654 Galati, Romania, Tel.:
+40.372.361.102, Fax: +40.372.361.290, Corresponding author:
Performance and Risks in the European Economy
2. Research Methodology
According to Europe 2020 Strategy, the analysis is focused on four environment indicators: total
greenhouse gas emissions, share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption, primary
energy consumption and final energy consumption.
For the beginning, we used comparative analysis of these indicators during 2002-2014. The goal of the
analysis is to present the environment disparities between the Member States, focusing of three
moments in time: 2007 (last year before the impact of the global crisis), 2012 (year of the economic
recovery process) and 2014. In order to do this, we used the latest official statistic data.
The second step of the analysis is the cluster analysis, which is realized to support the idea of grouping
the Member States into different clusters. The paper uses two-step cluster analysis, where the distance
measure is log-likehood. The number of clusters is specified fixed: 3, while the clustering criterion is
Schwarz‟s Bayesian Criterion (BIC). The paper operates with distinct clusters analysis for each
indicator, in order to see if the cluster‟s quality is at least fair.
Finally, the analysis used a forecast of the four above indicators in order to understand if the Europe
2020 Strategy‟s environment goals are viable for 2020. In order to realise these forecasts, will use
SPSS19 software, under ARIMA method, where the dependent variables are the above four indicators
rates and the independent variables are the years.
3. European Environment Policy’s Effects during 2002-2014
Europe 2020 Strategy stipulated that the greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by 20%
compared to 1990. The trend of this indicator is presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Total greenhouse gas emissions (in CO2 equivalent) indexed to 19 90
Source: per sonal contribution using EEA 2014 data
According to Figure 1, there are: 11 Member States which will achieve greenhouse gas emissions rates
less that 80% (of the level in 1990) in 2014, 9 states with rates between 80% and 100% and 8 states
with rates greater than 100%. These states can be grouped into three clusters. The viability of these
clusters is made by Figure 2. Figure 2 supports the idea that the above cluster grouping is correct. The
cluster quality is good.

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