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Blue and Green growth explained

“Green growth” is a term to describe a path of economic growth that utilises natural resources in a sustainable manner. It implies fostering economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which the well-being of the current and future generations rely.

In line with policy and research definitions, the South Baltic Programme encompasses the following sectors of the green economy: (1) renewable energy and efficient use of electricity; (2) green construction; (3) clean transportation; (4) environmental management; (5) agriculture, forestry and land management; (6) food manufacturing and processing; (7) sustainable (green/eco) tourism.

The above sectors cover: biorefinery, manufacturing, production, trading, public services, governmental and regulatory framework as well as research, design and consulting.

The similar and often interchangeably used term of ‘green technologies’ relates to environmentally friendly (clean) inventions that promote sustainable management of resources and take into account: energy efficiency, recycling, safety and health concerns, etc. The term relates to methods, approaches, solutions, materials, devices, products and services applied in a wide range of activities. These usually include: production and transmission of renewable energy, water purification, air pollution reduction, sewage treatment, environmental remediation, solid waste management, energy conservation and life-cycle solutions, chemistry, food manufacturing and processing, housing, and many more.

“Blue growth” is part of the Europe 2020 strategy and addresses the economic potential of the oceans, seas and coasts for sustainable growth and jobs, to be developed in harmony with the marine environment and through cooperation between public and private partners, including SMEs. In concordance with the European Commission’s Communication on ‘Blue Growth – Opportunities for Marine and Maritime Sustainable Growth’, the term “blue economy” can be related to the following sectors:

  • Blue energy – offshore wind power, tidal and wave power, ocean thermal energy conversion;
  • Aquaculture;
  • Maritime, coastal and cruise tourism;
  • Deep-sea and short-sea shipping;
  • Marine mineral resources (seabed mining);
  • Marine biotechnology (e.g. resources in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries);
  • Desalination;
  • Coastal protection;
  • Maritime security & surveillance and environmental monitoring;
  • Maritime spacial planning for combined uses of maritime resources.

Applied to the sectors most relevant for the South Baltic area, the blue and green growth context is, consequently, visible in the profile of the thematic objectives and intervention priorities that have been chosen – translated to the Programme priority axes and specific objectives.