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.
Clients of the program include:
- Australian Government Departments of: Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities; Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; Resources, Energy and Tourism; Climate Change and Energy Efficiency; and the Treasury
- Australian Government agencies such as 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.
Use of environment statistics is varied and includes the formulation of policies, economic analysis, research and forecasting as well as meeting international reporting obligations.
The main outputs of the program are:
- continued collaboration for development of the United Nations’ System of Environmental Economic Accounts (SEEA), a satellite system of the System of National Accounts, 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 household behaviour and practice statistics relating to biodiversity, water, energy and waste: Environmental issues: Energy Use and Conservation (ABS cat. no. 4602.0.55.001)
- production of information to underpin the environmental economic accounts, for example Waste Management Services, Australia (ABS cat. no. 8698.0)
The main medium-term developments in the program are to:
- publish the first release of the Waste Account, Australia 2009–10 based on the SEEA – due end 2012
- release information collected through the 2011–12 Multi Purpose Household Survey: Biodiversity Conservation Activities 2011–12 (ABS cat. no. 4602.4) – due end 2012
- improve the quality and depth of detail of existing water and energy accounts (including energy monetary accounts) – due end 2012
- further develop the on-going collection and release of data on energy, water and environment statistics with the triennial release of Energy, Water and Environment Management (ABS cat. no. 4660.0) – due mid-2013
- following the May 2012 conference in Melbourne and release of the related publication, Completing the Picture – Environmental Accounting in Practice (ABS cat. no. 4628.0.55.001), work with key stakeholders to demonstrate applications of SEEA and promote its use as 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 land, environmental protection expenditure, and environment industry accounts – ongoing
- collaborate with other government agencies around environmental information initiatives such as the National Plan for Environmental Information (NPEI), the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting system (NGER) and the Bureau of Meteorology National Water Account – ongoing.
Environment Statistics & Integration Branch