4655.0.55.002 - Information Paper: Towards the Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts, 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/03/2013  First Issue
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Information Paper: Towards the Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts responds to the growing demand for integrated environmental-economic information and reflects an emerging maturity within the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) environmental statistics program.

This release uses a theme based presentation to showcase the range of ABS environmental accounts which include: Water Account, Australia; Energy Account, Australia; Waste Account, Australia (Experimental Estimates); and others. It also demonstrates the power of these accounts in supporting informed decision making on contemporary environmental issues. Accordingly, Information Paper: Towards the Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts provides a depth of commentary to explain environmental accounts and to describe their potential to inform environmental policy decisions.

The initial release of a new annual publication Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts later this year will be more data-focussed, representing the next stage of a fully integrated (though limited) set of environmental accounts for Australia.

The outputs contained in this information paper follow the principles outlined in the System of Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA). The SEEA Central Framework was adopted as an international statistical standard by the United Nations Statistical Commission early in 2012. The key characteristic of the SEEA is its capacity to integrate a range of data, expressed in both monetary and physical terms, in an integrated and systematic manner. The SEEA framework thus supports decision making that considers both environmental and socio-economic factors.

The ABS program of environmental accounts is evolving. Readers are invited to submit comments on this publication to help inform the future shape of the program to <donna.grcman@abs.gov.au>. As resources permit, the ABS plans to continue to seek ways to expand the program, both in the range of accounts produced and the frequency of their compilation.