The System of Environmental and Economic Accounts—2003 and the Economic Relevance of Physical Flow Accounting

The international handbook on integrated environmental and economic accounting (SEEA-2003) provides a detailed overview of environmental accounting approaches that have been developed in parallel with the system of national (economic) accounts. In addition to natural resource stock accounts and environmental protection expenditure accounts, SEEA-2003 pays considerable attention to physical flow accounting. Expanding the national economic accounts with physical data sets facilitates the joint analysis of environmental and economic policy issues. This article discusses the main characteristics of national accounts-oriented physical flow accounting approaches and provides an overview of the kind of indicators they may put forward. Although this article is not an attempt to provide a comprehensive review of macrooriented physical flow accounting approaches, the analytical advantages of national accounts-oriented physical flow accounts are illustrated.

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