4655.0.55.001 - Towards an integrated environmental-economic account for Australia, 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/11/2010   
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Integrated environmental-economic accounts

Over recent years, the ABS has produced a range of individual environmental-economic accounts, including accounts for water, energy and environmental protection expenditure (EPE). The ABS now intends to produce environmental-economic accounts across a greater range of dimensions on a regular basis. Doing this presents the great analytical power of integrated comparisons across dimensions and over time.

Information papers for each of the proposed environmental-economic accounts will be released progressively. Below is a very brief listing of their key features, followed by a table outlining expected timeframes.

    • Water account: includes physical flows of water supplied to, and used by, the economy, and water returns to the environment. The account also includes monetary supply and use tables and indicators of water productivity for industries.

    • Energy account: includes physical and monetary supply and use tables for various energy products by industry. A time series of energy intensity measures by industry is also presented.

    • Land account: pilot region includes physical and monetary land use by industry, land cover by industry and changes in land cover over time. Land accounts could also include terrestrial biodiversity and carbon.

    • EPE account: proposed to include environment protection expenditure data by type of protection (e.g. waste water treatment), by industries and sectors.

    • Waste account: proposed to include physical generation and disposal of waste by industry, type of waste, and destination. Also to include monetary payments associated with these services.

    • Environment Industry account: The ‘environment industry’ (also known as the green economy or environmental goods and services sector), consists of enterprises which produce goods and services to measure, prevent, limit, minimise or correct environmental damage. Along with EPE measures, these accounts attempt to capture the supply and demand of the ‘environment market’.

Other types of accounts, such as those for emissions and material flows, as well as the classification and valuation of natural resource assets will be addressed in a research agenda.

Table 1: Summary of planned ABS environmental-economic accounts

ThemeCurrent StatusProposed statusNext due
Water4 yearlyAnnualLate 2010
EnergyIrregularAnnualMid 2011
LandIn developmentAnnualEarly 2011
EPELapsedAnnualLate 2012
WasteNew3-yearlyLate 2012
Environment Industry New3-yearlyLate 2013