System of Environmental- Economic Accounting Working Party on National Accounts

System of EnvironmentalEconomic Accounting
Working Party on National Accounts
(Paris, 25-28 October 2011)
Herman Smith
United Nations Statistics Division
Short history of the SEEA
Published as a work in progress report
Focused mostly on environmentally-adjusted aggregates and integration
of the environment in monetary accounts
Chapter 8 of agenda 21 recommended its implementation in countries
Resistance of NSOs to develop environmentally-adjusted aggregates
SEEA 2003
Issued as a best practices document
In a number of cases, not a single option is presented
Major step forward in linking physical and monetary
SEEA 2012
Need to develop a standard for environmental-economic accounting
Based on the SEEA 2003 and country experience
High policy demand – Green Economy/green growth, Rio +20
Development of the revised SEEA
• Being developed under the auspices of the United Nations
Committee on Environmental-Economic Accounting established
by the UN Statistical Commission
• London Group on Environmental Accounting has contributed
substantively (e.g. discussion and solving issues, etc.)
• The idea is the SEEA is comprised of three parts: Part 1 on the
Central Framework, Part 2 on Experimental Ecosystem Accounts
and Part 3 on Extensions and Applications
• Issue list for the SEEA was discussed by the London Group
Development of the revised SEEA
• Outcome papers reflecting the decision of the London Group were
drafted and circulated for global consultation (until end of 2010)
• Recommendations on the issues were adopted by the UN Statistical
Commission (UNSC) in February 2011
• Draft Chapters 1-6 constituting the central framework will be out
for global consultation this week
• Chapters 1-6 will be submitted for adoption by the UNSC in March
• Experimental Ecosystem Accounts and Extensions and
Applications will present the state of the art and will not be
statistical standards.
List of issues - 21
Issue 1. Harmonization of MFA with SEEA concepts
Issue 2. Definition and classifications of physical flows
Issue 3. Linking energy flow accounts, balances and basic energy statistics and emission inventories and accounts
Issue 4. Renewable energy
Issue 5. Environment industry
Issue 6 -7-8. Environmental taxes and subsidies and permits
Issue 9. Classification of natural resource management expenditures
Issue 10-11. Classification of assets and categorization of mineral and energy resources
Issue 12. Valuation of assets
Issue 13-14. Recording of natural resource depletion for a non-renewable and renewable resource
Issue 15. Decommissioning costs
Issue 16. Recording of water in artificial reservoirs
Issue 17. Recording of losses
Issue 18. Valuation of water (deleted)
Issue 19. Land
Issue 20. Recording of soil and its valuation
Issue 21. Forest accounts
The SEEA and supporting suite
of publications
Energy balances
Other water statistics
Systems frameworks
Intermediate frameworks
e.g. IRWS
e.g. IRES
Compilation Material
Compilation Material
ISIC, CPC, Asset Classification, Class. of
Environmental Activities, Class. of Physical Flows etc
Data Quality Assessment Frameworks
Metadata and documentation (e.g. SDMX)
• The SEEA maintains close linkages to the
accounting structure and concepts of the SNA
• It has graduated to a system in its own right
• Central framework is very close to the SNA
(satellite system of the SNA)
• Ecosystem accounts look at the environment from
a different perspective in its capacity to provide
services to the economy
SEEA implementation
• Energy information is high on international agenda
• Rio+20
• Green Economy/Green Growth
• Sustainable Consumption and Production
• Resources efficiency/productivity
• Climate Change
• Beyond GDP measures
• On the international statistical agenda
• Busan Action Plan for Statistics being discussed
• Multi-regional Input-Output Models
• Sustainable Development Goals (post MDG agenda)
SEEA and implementation
• UNSC requested the UNCEEA to discuss implementation of
the SEEA
• UNCEEA discussed a paper on the implementation in June
prepared by Statistics Netherlands
• Suggestion to develop a minimum set of accounts for
environmental accounting
• London Group to be engaged in supporting the
implementation through vetting training and compilation
materials, etc.
What’s next?
• SEEA Central framework (Chapters 1-6)
To be submitted for adoption to UNSC in March 2012
• SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounts
• UNSD/World Bank and EEA have been given the task to lead their
• Draft list of issues has been prepared and discussed at the London
Group in September – still open for comments
• Expert Group comprising experts from statistical, scientific and
ecological economics community has been established
• Expert meeting to discuss the issues will take place in London (5-7
December 2011) hosted by ONS and DEFRA
• Not a standard but expected to be submitted to UNSC in 2013
• SEEA Extension and Applications
• Scope and content agreed by the UNCEEA
• In the process of identifying authors for different topics
Thank you