The Environmental Policies of The Baltic Sea Nations

In the past, Europe has been one of the top producers of greenhouse gases since the advent of the industrial revolution. Although most of the Western European countries have gone to great lengths to cut their overall emissions, some European countries are still ranking high on the list of greenhouse emissions per capita. In this article, I will focus primarily on the Baltic Sea nations, which have caused a great deal of harm to the environment. Presently, many of the Baltic Sea nations are working to rectify their misdeeds, although, many of which are still largely contributing to the world's level of pollution.

Finland has consistently ranked in the top 5 for countries that emit the most greenhouse gases per capita. They are tied for forth with Switzerland for a tremendous 18 tonnes of emissions. Most of their emissions comes from their utilization of peat and coal for energy, but other tragic mining disasters have been known to occur in the country as well. Because Finland is a member of the European Union (EU), they have agreed to the Kyoto protocol, which has set specific goals to cut emissions throughout the world.

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Sweden has been one of the most environmentally conscientious nation in all of Europe. Since the 1960s, Sweden has introduced a number of government organizations that serve to protect their ecosystems and citizens from hazardous chemicals. In the 70s, Sweden was already working to ban the use of high-sulphur fossil fuels throughout their country. It came after the realization that the sulphur pollution was jointly effecting other Baltic Sea nations through the formation of acid rain.

Norway has been extremely innovative with generating electricity for its citizens. To this date, around 98 percent of all the electricity generated in Norway comes from deep sea turbines. They are one of the few carbon-neutral nations in the world and are continually looking to drastically cut their carbon-footprint.

Estonia, on the other hand, has had a long history of environmental disasters. At the end of the Cold War, the Soviet army began to pull out of Estonia. At they same time, they decided to improperly dispose of any leftover jet fuel, outdated weapons and explosives and other hazardous chemicals. Subsequently, much of the top soil and drinking water was irreparably damaged, and the small nation of Estonia was left with a number of environmental issues. To this day, Estonia is still working to rectify the negligence of the Soviet army.

The aforementioned nations and the rest of the Baltic Sea nations, including Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Russia, have all been jointly affected by the increasingly polluted Baltic Sea. With the Baltic Sea acting as one of the largest trading routes for oil, there have been a number of catastrophic mishaps that have occurred. On average, since 1980, there has been at least one major tanker accident in the Baltic Sea each year. The dead-zone in the Baltic Sea has reached immense proportions, with no conceivable solution in sight.

Although many of the Baltic Sea nations are looking to change their ways, we may have hit a time where their efforts may amount to being too little and too late.

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