The Environment Statistics Program contributes to meeting the demand for comprehensive and coordinated information about Australia’s environment, focusing on key themes such as water, energy, land and waste management. The complex inter-relationships between the environment, society and the economy require integrated information, which is a key focus of the program.
The program actively engages with partners to understand information needs and coordinate the development of statistics from the wide range of data available in this field.
Use of environment statistics is varied and includes the formulation of policies, economic analysis, research, forecasting and meeting international reporting obligations. Clients of the program include:
- Australian Government Departments of: Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities; Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; Resources, Energy and Tourism; Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education; and the Treasury
- Australian Government agencies such as the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences; the Murray Darling Basin Authority; the Bureau of Meteorology; and Geoscience Australia
- state and territory government departments with environment or energy responsibilities
- academic and research organisations, environmental groups, businesses and individuals.
The main outputs of the program are:
- continued collaboration for development of the remaining volumes of the United Nations’ System of Environmental Economic Accounts (SEEA), which brings environmental and economic information together within a common framework
- production of annual environmental economic accounts according to the SEEA framework: Energy Account, Australia (ABS cat. no. 4604.0); and Water Account, Australia (ABS cat. no. 4610.0)
- production of data on energy, water and environment statistics with the triennial release of Energy, Water and Environment Management (ABS cat. no. 4660.0)
- production of annual household behaviour and practice statistics relating to: energy use and conservation Environmental issues: Energy Use and Conservation (ABS cat. no. 4602.0.55.001); water use and conservation Environmental issues: Water Use and Conservation (ABS cat. no. 4602.0.55.003); and waste management and transport Environmental issues: Waste Management and Transport Use (ABS cat. no. 4602.0.55.002)
- production of 4 yearly household views and behaviours relating to attitudes to the environment - Environmental Views and Behaviour, 2011-12 (ABS cat. no. 4626.0.55.001)
- production of 4 yearly Community Engagement with Nature Conservation, Australia, 2011-12 (ABS cat. no. 4602.0.00.002) (user-funded).
The main medium-term developments in the program are to:
- release information collected by the Business Survey of Residential Electricity Distribution via the Household Energy Consumption Survey (ABS cat. no. 4670.0) (user funded) - due September 2013
- release the first Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts based on the SEEA - due December 2013
- improve the quality and depth of detail of existing water and energy accounts (including energy monetary accounts) - ongoing
- work with key stakeholders to demonstrate applications of SEEA and promote its use as a framework for integration of socio-economic and environmental information to inform policy development and decision making - ongoing
- investigate further expansion of the environmental accounting program that could encompass regular land, waste, environmental expenditure, environmental goods and services and environment industry accounts - ongoing
- collaborate with other government agencies around environmental information initiatives such as: the National Plan for Environmental Information; the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting system; the Bureau of Meteorology National Water Account; and the three yearly National Waste Report - ongoing
- provide statistical support and training to Asia and the Pacific region on the implementation of the SEEA - ongoing.
Bill Allen, Assistant Statistician, Environment Statistics and Integration Branch
Topics @ a Glance - Environment and Energy