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Release: UK Environmental Accounts, 2014

Released: 02 July 2014


Lynsey Brown

Environmental Accounts

Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456736

Categories: Agriculture and Environment, Environment, Environmental Accounts, Economy, National Accounts, Satellite Accounts, Environmental Satellite Accounts

Frequency of release: Annually

Language: English

Geographical coverage: UK

Geographical breakdown: UK

  • In 2012, 45 million tonnes of oil and 37 billion cubic metres of gas were extracted in the UK, 13.5% and 14.0% lower than extraction levels in 2011, respectively.
  • Total energy consumption increased by 1.2% in 2012, contrary to the overall declining trend, which was largely due to the average air temperature being 0.9°C lower than in 2011.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions have generally decreased since the mid-1990s, falling from a peak of 822.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) in 1991 to 642.0 million tonnes of CO2e in 2011, the lowest point in the series. In 2012, greenhouse gas emissions increased by 2.2% to 656.3 million tonnes of CO2e.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions intensity was 37.7% lower in 2012 (0.38 thousand tonnes of CO2e per £ million) compared with 1997 (0.61 thousand tonnes of CO2e per £ million).
  • Revenue from environmentally related taxes (in current prices) has gradually increased over the past two decades, peaking at £43.0 billion in 2013. This represented 7.5% of total revenue from taxes and social contributions in the UK and was equivalent to 2.7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  
  • In 2012, the UK government spent £14.2 billion on environmental protection activities, of which £11.5 billion (81.3%) was spent on the collection, treatment and disposal of waste.

Environmental accounts show how the environment contributes to the economy, the impacts that the economy has on the environment, and how society responds to environmental issues. They include natural capital accounts (oil and gas), physical accounts (fuel use, energy consumption, atmospheric emissions, material flows, and water), and monetary accounts (environmental taxes and environmental protection expenditure). For 2014, experimental natural capital accounts (land use and forestry) are also included.

Environmental accounts are ‘satellite accounts’ to the main National Accounts and they are compiled in accordance with the System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA), which closely follows the UN System of National Accounts (SNA). This means that they are comparable with economic indicators such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

  • meet identified user needs;
  • are well explained and readily accessible;
  • are produced according to sound methods; and
  • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.