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9 The table above summarises the range of environmental accounts produced by the ABS and broadly indicates, for each environmental domain, what types of accounts have been produced, their status, and reference years for which data are available.
10 Estimates of the value of some environmental assets are included in the Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0) in inventories (e.g. plantation forests) and non-produced assets (e.g. land, minerals, timber in native forests), and are produced according to the SNA. The definition, classification, scope and valuation of environmental assets contained in AEEA is defined by the SEEA Central Framework. The SEEA Central framework uses the term environmental assets, which in other contexts is referred to as natural capital.
11 SEEA defines environmental assets as being "the naturally occurring living and non-living components of the Earth, together comprising the bio-physical environment that may provide benefits to humanity". Within the SEEA, assets are measured in both physical and monetary terms, whereas the SNA relates only to monetary information.
12 The notion of environmental assets used in this publication are consistent with the SEEA definition and has the potential to include:
13 Monetary valuation of environmental assets is applied only to those assets meeting the SNA definition of an asset. SNA defines an asset as "a store of value representing a benefit or a series of benefits accruing to the economic owner by holding or using the entity over a period of time. It is a means of carrying forward value from one accounting period to another". The SNA and the SEEA Central Framework support consistent monetary valuation of environmental assets.
14 In practice, the environmental assets included in the AEEA are land, mineral and energy assets and timber. Research is currently underway to extend the range of environmental assets for which monetary estimates can be generated (e.g. for water).
15 For estimates of mineral and energy assets, the ABS has adopted Australia’s National Classification System for Mineral Resources (Geoscience Australia) to assign physical and monetary stocks based on Economic Demonstrated Resources (EDR) data.
16 EDRs are resources judged to be economically extractable and for which the quantity and quality are computed partly from specific measurements, and partly from extrapolation for a reasonable physical distance on geological evidence. ABS mineral and energy asset stocks align with Australia’s National Classification System for Mineral Resources.
17 The physical asset account contained within the AEEA includes the following assets:
18 Monetary asset accounts contained within the AEEA include estimates for:
Further information on environmental assets
19 Further information on data sources, concepts, and methods underpinning monetary and physical estimates of environmental assets can be found in Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Method (cat. no. 5216.0).
20 The Water Account Australia (WAA) was developed using the SEEA Central Framework and SEEA-Water. Water supply and use tables provide a framework to link core components of the national accounts to physical information. Physical data are presented in supply and use tables, while linkages to economic data are also made.
Physical supply and use of water
21 The physical supply and use of water tables measure in physical terms (megalitres) the supply and use of all water within the Australian economy. The tables relate to freshwater and include the following categories of water: self-extracted, distributed, in-stream use and reuse.
22 The water tables include the following socioeconomic units:
23 Items not covered by the water tables include:
Water consumption and water use
24 Water consumption is that part of water use not distributed to other economic units and does not return to the environment (to water resources, sea or ocean) because during use it has been incorporated into products, evaporated, transpired or otherwise consumed by households or businesses. The following accounting identities have been used:
25 For most industries, water use and water consumption are the same, as most industries do not have in-stream use, nor do they typically supply water to other users. However, water consumption and use will vary considerably for some industries, specifically the Water supply, sewerage and drainage services industry, Electricity and gas supply industry and Mining industry, where in-stream water use and water supply volumes are significant.
Monetary supply and use of water
26 The monetary supply and use of water tables measure in monetary terms the supply and use of water within the Australian economy. Estimates are also provided for the supply and use of sewerage, waste water and drainage services (also referred to as water related services).
27 Monetary aggregates are provided for:
28 The scope of monetary estimates is limited to distributed water, reuse water and waste water, sewerage and drainage services. No estimates are made of the value of self-extracted water. Further, the scope is limited to 'net distributed water', which is defined as water that has been supplied from one economic unit to another for a fee, creating a measurable economic transaction. Net distributed water excludes distribution losses and supply to the environment for which there is no matching economic transaction.
Gross value of irrigated agricultural production
29 Gross value of irrigated agricultural production (GVIAP) relates to the gross value of agricultural commodities produced with the assistance of irrigation. The gross value of commodities produced is the value placed on recorded production using wholesale prices as realised in the marketplace. This definition of GVIAP does not refer to the value that irrigation adds to production, or the 'net effect' that irrigation has on production.
Further information on water
30 For a detailed discussion of concepts, data sources and methods used in the water tables and of the methods used for calculating water supply and use (both physical and monetary), please refer to the explanatory notes of the Water Account, Australia, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4610.0). Similarly, a more detailed discussion of concepts, sources and methods used in the compilation of GVIAP can be found in the explanatory notes of Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4610.0.55.008).
31 Energy Account Australia (EAA) uses the SEEA as the basis for its conceptual framework.
Supply and use of energy
32 Energy tables in the AEEA record the physical supply and use of energy products within the Australian economy. Supply of energy includes both direct extraction of energy products (including renewables) and imports of energy products. The use of energy products relates to use by Australian industry, households and governments - including inventory changes and energy products used by non-residents (exports). The monetary supply and use of energy tables record monetary values for those flows where market (or near-market) transactions occur.
33 All energy accounts in the AEEA are compiled on a residence basis and therefore the national boundary relates to the activities of Australian resident units.
34 Energy flow accounts have been presented on a ‘net’ basis in this publication. Net measures of energy consider conversion losses associated with transforming one form of energy into another form. In this way, estimates for total net energy use avoid double-counting the amount of converted primary energy.
35 The net use of energy table records the different energy products consumed for final purposes (final use of energy plus energy losses due to conversions) and supplied to the rest of the world (exports), along with inventory changes. The main accounting identity underlying the net flow accounts for energy is:
36 This accounting identity is valid only for the sum of all energy products in the economy and not for individual energy products. This is because the net supply table balances all energy use, whereas supply of an individual product will generally not equal use of that product due to losses and transformations.
37 Data contained in the net supply and use tables are used to compile time series of energy intensity. In concept, net supply and use of energy products most closely matches measures of monetary supply and use of energy.
38 The energy supply and use tables include the following energy products (though not all products are separately identifiable):
39 Industry classification used in the presentation of supply and use of energy follow the 2006 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, 2006 (ANZSIC) (cat. no. 1292.0). The following industry breakdown is used in the energy tables of the AEEA.
Energy assets, in petajoules
40 Energy assets are measured in petajoules (PJ) and utilise the same scope as used for monetary valuation of energy assets in the AEEA, that is, EDR as defined in Australia's National Classification System for Mineral Resources (Geoscience Australia). The AEEA estimates of energy assets are generated by Geoscience Australia.
41 Estimates of energy content is provided for the following assets:
Further Information on energy
42 For a detailed discussion of sources and methods used in the energy tables, including energy assets measured in petajoules, please refer to the explanatory notes of Energy Account, Australia, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4604.0).
43 Information on Waste has been gathered from multiple sources and organised using the principles of the SEEA Central Framework to produce Waste Account, Australia, 2010-11 (cat. no. 4602.0.55.006).
Physical supply and use of solid waste
44 The Waste Account Australia records the total supply of solid waste products within the economy (including imports) and the total use of solid waste products within the economy (including exports). The supply and use methodology underpinning the data presented here is based on the fundamental economic identity that supply of products equal use of products.
45 The SEEA defines solid waste as “discarded materials that are no longer required by the owner or user”. Where the unit discarding the materials receives no payment for the materials, the flow is considered a residual flow of solid waste. Where the unit discarding the materials receives a payment, but the actual residual value of the material is small, such as in the case of scrap metal sold to a recycling firm, this flow is considered a product flow of solid waste.
46 The physical supply and use of waste tables include the following waste materials:
47 The following waste materials are out of scope of the physical supply and use of waste tables:
48 The industry classification used in the physical supply and use of waste tables follow the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0). The waste management services industry comprises ANZSIC Division D, subdivision 29 and the waste management activities of local governments.
49 The industry described as ‘Services’ in the physical supply and use of waste tables is an aggregation of the following industries:
50 The Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) stream is a data source used to estimate household waste. MSW covers both direct waste collection (e.g. kerbside collection of recycling and waste to landfill) and indirect waste collection (e.g. householder drop-off at transfer stations) from households.
Monetary supply and use of solid waste
51 The monetary supply and use of waste tables present aggregates in monetary terms for the supply and use of waste goods and services within the Australian economy. Monetary supply and use tables record economic transactions associated with the income generated by the supply of waste management services and sales of recovered waste material and expenditure on the use of waste management services and purchase of recovered waste material.
52 The monetary supply and use of waste tables record the following items:
Further Information on waste
53 For a detailed discussion of data sources used in the waste tables and of methods used to calculate waste supply and use (both monetary and physical), please refer to the explanatory notes contained in the Waste Account, Australia, 2010-11 (cat. no. 4602.0.55.006).
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
54 Estimates of direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contained in this publication are presented according to SEEA guidelines. In particular, the SEEA recommends converting the territory-based GHG emissions inventories produced according to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) guidelines onto a residence basis. When following the residence principle, the geographic boundary of a country is determined by the activities of economic units resident in that country.
55 The scope of GHG emissions included in this publication includes all emissions under the UNFCCC, and as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These include energy sectors (including stationary energy and transport); industrial processes; solvent and other product use; agriculture; waste; and land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF).
56 The primary data source for estimates of inventories of GHG emissions by industry and households in Australia is the Department of the Environment publication Australian National Greenhouse Accounts - National Inventory by Economic Sector, 2012. The Department of the Environment notion of economic sector is consistent with ANZSIC.
57 Department of the Environment produces its Australian National Greenhouse Accounts according to the UNFCCC. GHG Emissions compiled on this basis are recorded using the territory principle. When using the territory principle, GHG emissions occurring within the geographic boundary of a country are attributed to that country.
58 The adjustments required to convert the presentation of data onto a SEEA (residence) basis relate to emissions attributed to travellers while abroad, and international bunkering (related to international transport, principally shipping and aircraft).
59 Within the AEEA, direct GHG emissions estimates relate to the following gases:
60 Direct GHG emissions figures relate to the following industries and to households:
61 Direct emissions are produced from sources within the boundary of an organisation and as a result of that organisation’s activities. These emissions mainly arise from the following activities:
62 Direct emission factors provide information on the kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) emitted per unit of activity at the point of emission release (i.e. fuel use, energy use, manufacturing process activity, mining activity, on-site waste disposal, etc.). All factors are standardised by being expressed as a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e). This is calculated by multiplying the individual gas emission factor by the respective gas global warming potential (GWP).
63 For a more detailed discussion of the emissions factors please refer to the Department of the Environment publication Australian National Greenhouse Accounts - National Inventory by Economic Sector, 2010-11.
64 In order to represent GHG emissions information on a SEEA basis, two adjustments to UNFCCC-based data are made:
CARBON STOCK ACCOUNTS
65 The estimates of Australia’s carbon stocks are experimental and are limited to the primary reservoirs of geocarbon and biocarbon. Geocarbon relates to carbon in the geosphere, and in this publication is further limited to fossil fuel resources. Biocarbon relates to carbon in the biosphere and includes all biomass and soil organic carbon to a depth of 30 cm (100 cm for marine ecosystems) irrespective of ecosystem type and land/water use. Biocarbon stocks are reported by type of ecosystem: settlements; agricultural ecosystems; and natural and semi-natural ecosystems. Carbon stocks contained within the Australian economy (e.g. in concrete or in plastics) are not presently covered in the experimental estimates.
66 National governments have invested substantially in information systems to meet reporting obligations under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. These systems are designed to report flow information, i.e. GHG emissions to and from the atmosphere. This information is incomplete because data users, whether policy makers, researchers or the public, need stock and flow information.
67 The carbon stock accounts contained in this publication reflect the principles of carbon accounting embodied in SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA). In addition to the SEEA accounting principles of completeness and consistency, the SEEA EEA carbon stock accounts also highlight the different reservoirs of carbon. These reservoirs of carbon differ in important ways, principally in the amount and stability of their carbon stocks, their capacity to be restored and the time required to do so. The stability of carbon stocks held in the biosphere depends heavily on ecosystem characteristics. For example, in natural ecosystems, biodiversity underpins the stability of carbon stocks by bestowing resilience and the capacity to adapt and self-regenerate. It is important to structure carbon stock accounts to capture these qualitative differences between reservoirs because such differences play a critical role in the global carbon cycle.
68 The experimental carbon stock accounts for Australia arose from a partnership project involving the ABS, the Department of the Environment and the Australian National University. Estimates contained in this publication are drawn from a Discussion Paper (below) prepared as part of this partnership project and intended to support discussions with data providers and consultations with information users.
69 It is important to structure carbon stock accounts to capture these qualitative differences between reservoirs because of their role in the operation of the global carbon cycle.
70 For a detailed discussion of data sources used in the carbon tables and of methods used to calculate carbon stocks please refer to the explanatory notes contained in the discussion paper Towards a comprehensive and fully integrated stock and flow framework for carbon accounting in Australia.
71 SEEA defines environmental taxes as "those taxes which have a tax base with a proven negative impact on the environment", thereby increasing the price on activities and products that are harmful to the environment.
72 Environmental taxes include taxes on production and imports, capital taxes and current taxes on income and wealth. With the introduction on 1 July 2012 of the Carbon Pricing Mechanism (the ‘Carbon tax’, a pollution tax) and the Mineral Resource Rent Tax (a resource tax), environmental taxes contained in this publication now relate to energy, transport, pollution and resources.
73 The estimates of environmental taxes contained in the AEEA are presented by type of tax, and by paying industry and households. Specifically, estimates of environmental taxes contained in this publication relate to the following types of taxes:
74 The Mineral Resource Rent Tax is included within the ‘Other environmental taxes’ category.
75 Environmental taxes have been produced in respect of households, and the following industries:
Further information on environmental taxes
76 Estimates of environmental taxes contained in the AEEA follow the concepts, sources and methods set out in Discussion Paper: Environmental Taxes in Australia - Experimental new statistics, 2000-2011 (cat. no. 4629.0.55.001).
ENVIRONMENTAL EXPENDITURE ACCOUNTS
77 The Environmental Expenditure Account (EEA) uses the SEEA as the basis for its conceptual framework. It follows the Classification of Environmental Activities (CEA), which is a functional classification used to classify environmental activities, environmental products and environmental expenditures and other transactions. It covers environmental protection and natural resource management activities.
78 This publication includes tables and graphs which present Supply and Use of Environmental Protection and Natural Resource Management Services. The tables present aggregates in monetary terms of the supply (products outputs) and use (consumption expenditure) of selected environmental services in the Australian economy for the financial years 2009-10 and 2010-11.
79 The coverage for environmental protection and natural resource management activities in the supply and use tables includes the following:
80 Industry classification used in the presentation of supply and use of environmental expenditures follow the 2006 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC). The following industry breakdown is used in the environmental expenditure tables of the AEEA.
Supply: Output of Environmental Protection and Natural Resource Management Services
81 Table 34 of the datacube records the output of specific environmental services by service provider (Specialist and Non-specialist producers).
82 The coverage of environmental protection and natural resource management activities in the production tables includes the following three major environmental domains:
83 The production table covers the following service providers:
Use: National Expenditure on Environment Protection and Natural Resource Management Services
84 Table 35 of the datacube presents national expenditure on environmental protection and natural resource management services related to intermediate consumption, final consumption and gross fixed capital formation. Expenditure for environmental protection purposes is not limited to the use of environmental related services but covers expenditure on all goods and services used for environmental related activities. This includes:
For a full list of the information contained in the EEA refer to: Discussion paper: Towards an Environmental Expenditure Account, Australia, August 2014 (cat. no. 4603.0.55.001)
85 Land is a unique environmental asset that delineates the space in which economic activities and environmental processes take place. Land accounts cover the total area of a country, including areas covered by inland water resources, such as rivers and lakes.
86 While a range of different types of land accounts can be prepared, the core land accounts relate to land use and land cover.
87 Land use reflects both (i) the activities undertaken and (ii) the institutional arrangements put in place for a given area for the purposes of economic production, or the maintenance and restoration of environmental functions (SEEA Central Framework, paragraph 5.246).
88 Land cover refers to the observed physical and biological cover of the Earth’s surface and includes natural vegetation and abiotic (non-living) surfaces (SEEA Central Framework, paragraph 5.257).
89 Experimental land accounts for land cover and land use have been prepared for the states of Victoria and Queensland, and within these data are presented for: natural resource management (NRM) regions; interim biogeographic regional areas (IBRA); and Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4).
Further information on land cover
90 Estimates of land cover change contained in the AEEA are sourced from Geoscience Australia. For further information on Australia's Dynamic Land Cover Dataset please see
RELATED ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTS PUBLICATIONS
TOWARDS THE AUSTRALIAN ENVIRONMENTAL-ECONOMIC ACCOUNTS, March 2013 (cat. no. 4655.0.55.002)
91 Towards the Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts (AEEA) uses a themes-based presentation to showcase the range of ABS environmental accounts. The publication provides a depth of commentary to explain environmental accounts and to describe their potential to inform environmental policy decisions. It was a prelude to the initial release of the annual Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts publication.
COMPLETING THE PICTURE: ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING IN PRACTICE, May 2012 (cat. no. 4628.0.55.001)
92 Completing the picture: environmental accounting in practice was released on 10 May 2012. This publication examines a number of complex issues facing policy makers in Australia, such as climate change and natural resource management, and illustrates how environmental accounts can be used to further improve the decision-making process. It also includes a range of accounts, based on the SEEA, that highlight the various interactions between the environment and economy.
WATER ACCOUNT, AUSTRALIA 2012-13 (cat. no. 4610.0)
93 The 2012-13 edition of Water Account, Australia (WAA) was released on 13 November 2013. This publication presents information on the supply and use of water in the Australian economy in 2012-13 in both physical (i.e. volumetric) and monetary terms. The focus of WAA is on the interactions between users within the economy and the environment.
ENERGY ACCOUNT, AUSTRALIA, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4604.0)
94 The 2012-13 edition of Energy Account, Australia was released on 20 February 2014. This publication presents information on energy intensity and on the supply and use of energy in the Australian economy for 2012-13 in physical (i.e. joule) terms. Monetary estimates related to energy contained in AEEA, 2015 are taken from the 2011-12 edition of Energy Account, Australia, which was released on 26 November 2013 and presents information in both physical and monetary terms.
WASTE ACCOUNT, AUSTRALIA, 2010-11 (cat. no. 4602.0.55.006)
95 The 2014 edition of Waste Account, Australia was released on 1 May 2014 and includes information on waste in the Australian economy for the period 2010-11 . It provides tables showing data on the generation and disposal of waste to landfills or to recycling facilities, the supply of recycled materials in the economy and related financial flows.
DISCUSSION PAPER: ENVIRONMENTAL TAXES IN AUSTRALIA - EXPERIMENTAL NEW STATISTICS 2000-2011 (cat. no. 4629.0.55.001)
96 The discussion paper, released on 13 December 2012, provides information on environmental taxes in Australia and is concurrent with work being conducted by the OECD.
DISCUSSION PAPER: TOWARDS AN ENVIRONMENTAL EXPENDITURE ACCOUNT, AUSTRALIA, AUGUST 2014 (cat. no. 4603.0.55.001)
97 This discussion paper builds on existing work in this area and responds to the growing demand for environmental expenditure information identified within environmental domains. The tables contained in the discussion paper are based on the (SEEA) Central Framework for expenditure on environmental protection and natural resource management. This paper explores the compilation of selected environmental protection and natural resource management transactions for Australia.
LAND ACCOUNT: QUEENSLAND, EXPERIMENTAL ESTIMATES, 2013 (cat. no. 4609.0.55.003)
98 The 2013 edition of Land Account, Queensland, Experimental Estimates was released on 28 August 2013. It provides data in the form of statistical tables as well as spatially. Statistical tables record land use classified by land cover. The account combines Google Earth® with data for each of the 11,039 Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1) areas in Queensland providing a socio-economic spatial layer in tab delimited text, MapInfo and ESRI Geodatabase formats. These enable users to overlay the socio-economic layer with other bio-physical layers (e.g. soil condition, elevation and slope) to undertake further analysis.
GROSS VALUE OF IRRIGATED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4610.0.55.008)
99 The 2012-13 edition of Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production was released on 2 October 2014. This publication presents information on Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (GVIAP), by type of agricultural product, for Australia, the States and Territories and the Murray-Darling Basin, as well as by Natural Resource Management (NRM) area. Estimates of Gross Value of Agricultural Production (GVAP) are also provided.
BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY, NATIONAL WATER ACCOUNT
100 The National Water Account is produced annually by the Bureau of Meteorology. It provides a picture of water resources management for the previous financial year for nine nationally significant water regions: Adelaide, Canberra, Daly, Melbourne, Murray-Darling Basin, Ord, Perth, South East Queensland and Sydney. It includes information about water stores and flows, water rights and water use, as well as reporting on volumes of water traded, extracted and managed for economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits.
DoE, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL GREENHOUSE ACCOUNTS - NATIONAL INVENTORY BY ECONOMIC SECTOR
101 The Department of Environment produces the Australian National Greenhouse Accounts, National Inventory by Economic Sector on an annual basis. The publication provides information on national greenhouse gas emissions on a Kyoto accounting (territory) basis, disaggregated by ANZSIC industry.
TOWARDS A COMPREHENSIVE AND FULLY INTEGRATED STOCK AND FLOW FRAMEWORK FOR CARBON ACCOUNTING IN AUSTRALIA
102 In November 2012, officers from the ABS, the Department of the Environment and the Australian National University agreed on a partnership project to investigate the potential for reporting Australia’s carbon stocks. This Discussion Paper Towards a comprehensive and fully integrated stock and flow framework for carbon accounting in Australia includes the results of an experiment to populate a carbon stock account with indicative estimates to assist discussion about methods for regularly reporting carbon stocks and the usefulness of the information.
103 The evolution of environmental accounting at the ABS began in 1996 with the publication of Natural Resource Accounting - Australian Energy Accounts, 1993-94 (cat. no. 4604.0) and the Mineral Account, Australia (cat. no. 4608.0). Since then the development of the accounts at the ABS has been assisted through partnerships and consultations with various agencies, including the: Bureau of Meteorology; Department of the Environment; Victorian Department of Sustainability and the Environment; Queensland Department of Environment, Land and Water; Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists; United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics and Department of Food and Regional Affairs; Statistics Canada; Statistics Netherlands; Statistics Sweden; European Environment Agency; OECD; United Nations Statistical Division and the World Bank. In addition valuable input has been provided by a range of academics from: the Australian National University; Monash University; Queensland University; University of Melbourne; and University of Sydney.
1 SNA’s 'subsoil assets' fall within the SEEA category of 'mineral and energy resources' <back
2 Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account, 2013-14 (cat. no. 5249.0) <back
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