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4628.0.55.001 - Completing the Picture - Environmental Accounting in Practice, May 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/05/2012  First Issue
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10 May 2012
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Completing the Picture - Environmental Accounting in Practice

Australia’s natural capital or environment assets are worth $4,574 billion and accounted for more than half of Australia’s total economic wealth in 2009-10 found the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The value of our natural capital in current price terms, trebled between 2000-01 and 2009-10, driven by rises in mineral commodities and land values.

Some of the key data included in the publication are:

  • Water consumption in Australia fell by 43% between 1996-97 and 2010-11;
  • The biggest net energy users within Australia in 2008-09 were the manufacturing industry at 1,034 Petajoules and households at 1,015 Petajoules, each representing about 26% of net use by industry and households in Australia (excluding exports and conversion losses); and
  • Greenhouse gas emissions (excluding LULUCF) for Australia increased by 33% between 1989-90 and 2008-09.

The new ABS publication Completing the Picture: Environmental Accounting in Practice explores the relationships between economic activity and the environment, and which help to address concerns over sustainability, climate change, the Murray-Darling Basin and green growth. This publication follows the adoption of the System of Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA) as an international statistical standard by the United Nations Statistical Commission in March this year.

The adoption of the SEEA provides an opportunity to inform government decision-makers, policy analysts, scientists, industry and other groups about how SEEA style environmental accounts could be used and further developed in Australia. The ABS will be hosting a conference next week in Melbourne(14-15 May) to examine how environmental accounts can be developed and used in Australia.

Media note:
When reporting ABS data the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.

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