LNG in the Baltic Sea region in the context of EU-Russian relations
The Pan-European Institute publishes a quarterly discussion forum Baltic Rim Economies (BRE) which focuses on the development of the Baltic Sea region. In BRE, high level public and corporate decision makers, representatives of Academia, and several other experts contribute to the discussion.
In this article, the role of LNG is analysed within a necessary background of the climate change mitigation policy of the international community in general and the EU in particular. The Baltic Sea countries are an important part of the energy transition process, although their energy balances and production-import mixes for energy supplies vary greatly. They comprise from coal as an essential part of the energy base to a bold attempt to reduce the production-related emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). Consumption-related emissions are not targeted per se, while they are definitely affected through general measures on increasing effectiveness and technological ways and means. Natural gas is seen as ‘a missed bridge’ between oil plus coal and renewable energy sources (RES) since the political aspects and climate policies have created an unusual change of energy regimes. This change is based on the restrictions from the intergovernmental decisions made before technological and commercial backgrounds have been secured. In contrast, a more rational approach would be based on the existing cost-effectiveness. LNG may become victimised as ‘an innocent bystander’ because of the additional emission vis-à-vis pipeline gas. The EU’s decision on the dramatic reduction of reliance on all fossil fuels by 2030 and later on has become a game-changer: there will be no big gas market in the EU after the expiration of long-term contracts with Gazprom in the 2030s. The new development makes most debates on gas supplies in the Baltic Sea region (and on LNG as a part of them) obsolete and strictly political. From now on, governmental policies will be drifting to domestic policies on coal, expecting success in developing hydrogen technologies, and seeking the financing of additional investment and current costs, invoking these dramatic changes in the 2020s. The Green Deal will free Baltic Sea region countries (at some costs) from fossil fuels, including natural gas and LNG. And the latter will be deprived in a decade or two from any role, controversial or not.
Population ageing is a major problem of European development in the 21st century. Rapid population ageing in most developed countries will continue to drive the dependency ratio up. This research aims to forecast dependency ratio in the Baltic region until the end of the century. A more detailed population analysis and forecast is provided for the case of the Baltic States — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The authors use Bayesian probabilistic predictions based on data from the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Principle research methods include multi-factor simulation modelling; some findings are presented on schematic maps. The study shows that by the end of the century the highest dependency ratio in the Baltic region will be observed in Poland, while Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden will also face significant challenges. The authors put forward demographic policy recommendations for those Baltic region states that will reach the highest dependency ratio by the second half of the 21st century.
Over the last two decades city-twinning became quite popular in Northern Europe. This form of coining transborder communality took place particularly in the Nordic countries with their long-standing cooperative experience but included also the Baltic States and Russia. Twinning is viewed by many North European municipalities as an instrument available for both solving local problems and ensuring sustainable development. In some cases it has amounted to a kind of local foreign policy (paradiplomacy).This contribution aims at a critical examination of city twinning through four examples (Tornio–Haparanda, Narva–Ivangorod, Imatra–Svetogorsk, and Valga–Valka). It is argued that city twinning can bridge the ‘trust gaps’ that have traditionally existed at the boundaries of nation-states, and create shared spaces across national borders. In particular, the study seeks to explain whether the causal mechanism behind the examined phenomena is the agency of the cities themselves, or whether these phenomena merely reflect the wider policies of the states to which these cities belong. City twinning is also examined in light of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
The article focuses on the issue of possible decrease of the export gas volumes from Russia to European Union. The main question is, if Gazprom saves its monopoly competing with possible new providers of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The author provides a general analysis of the features and disadvantages of LNG, as well as examines the issues of EU LNG independence-rush by giving the examples of Lithuania and Poland terminals. The projects of Lithuanian floating regasification unit and Polish onshore terminal are aimed at diversification of gas supplies in order to provide energy independence from Gazprom, which held 100% of shares in the whole import energy market in the Baltic region and Poland. The article gives an analysis or risks and opportunities for Lithuania making a deal with potential LNG suppliers, according to the three possible scenarios in line with the estimated LNG prices: status quo, the search of the new suppliers (USA, Qatar) and the integration of the gas network among various terminals in the EU.
T he goal of our research was to test an inverted U-shaped relation between negative effect on environment and GDP per capita in developed and developing countries and in case of estimation of significant results to reveal the main factors that decrease the level of pollution.