4655.0 - Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts, 2016 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/04/2016   
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14 April 2016
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Australia's natural capital reaches $5,838 billion

The total value of Australia's environmental assets or natural capital was $5,836 billion at 30 June 2015, almost double the value of $3,000 billion in 2006, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

These values have been generated using data sourced from major commonwealth and state government agencies according to relevant international statistical standards.

Mark Lound, Director of the ABS Environmental Statistics Section said Australia's land, mineral, energy and timber resources added up to a high level of natural capital.

"Although we are not able to value everything in the environment at this stage, what we can value is still very large," said Mr Lound.

"Land now makes up 81 per cent of the value of Australia’s environmental assets and was valued at $4,722 billion at 30 June 2015."

"Natural capital is only one factor when considering the interactions between the environment and economy. There are some positive trends in how Australians have responded to environmental pressures while maintaining economic growth, but the news is mixed.”

"While the economy grew by 71 per cent, water consumption dropped by 16 per cent between 1996-97 and 2013-14. However, waste generated in Australia grew at a much faster rate than the economy, increasing by 163 per cent between 1996-97 and 2013-14.”

"We also saw a growth of 31 per cent in the energy used in the Australian economy during this period, but as this was at a slower rate than the economy, energy intensity has fallen which is a positive sign," said Mr Lound.

“Despite growing by 20 per cent over the full period from 1996-97 to 2012-13, it is worth noting greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 6 per cent since their peak in 2007-08.”

The 2016 edition of Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts is the third release of this publication reporting on Australia’s environment and its relationship with the economy. This edition includes a feature article with new experimental data on the value of Australia's water resource stocks, for years 2007-08 to 2012-13, and for each state and territory.

Further details can be found in Australian Environmental Economic Accounts, 2016 (cat no. 4655.0), available for free download from the ABS website https://www.abs.gov.au.

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