A Comparative Study, Volume 2
The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development
Edited by Anil Markandya and Marialuisa Tamborra
Anil Markandya, Alistair Hunt and lan Milborrow 2.1 INTRODUCTION There is a strong interest, both internationally and within the EU, in the preparation of a coherent set of environmental accounts that establish the impacts of economic and social activities on the environment. The UN System of National Accounts (SNA93) included a set of guidelines for the preparation of a set of ‘satellite accounts’ to complement the conventional national income accounts. This was followed by a handbook on environmental accounting which set out the methodology to be followed for the valuation of natural resources and environmental degradation caused by anthropogenic activity (United Nations, 1993). This is known as the System for Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA). The emphasis, however, was on the underlying principles to be followed, together with only a few general remarks on various valuation techniques. Since 1994, the London Group of Environmental and Resource Accounting representing statisticians from OECD-government states and international institutions (World Bank, Eurostat) has met to discuss developments in methodology and practical applications. This group has also been charged by the Statistical Commission of the UN with undertaking a review process for the SEEA, known under the acronym SEEA 2000. This review has already been circulated on the web and is due to be published (United Nations et al. forthcoming). The European Commission ﬁrst made its position clear in the paper ‘Directions for the EU on Environmental Indicators and Green National Accounting (COM 94, 670)’ in which the commitment was made to ‘develop...
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