Making the environment count

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Stats NZ’s release of their first combined Environmental Economic Accounts will provide a valuable basis for understanding New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions economy.

The System of Environmental Economic Accounts (SEEA), released today, measures the interactions between the environment and the economy in a way that has not been done before in New Zealand.

As Associate Minister for Finance with responsibility for overseeing sustainability indicators, Mr Shaw said this new environmental economic data will also help explore whether we are sustaining our environmental assets for future generations.

“This is a crucial step in gathering together the kind of information government, business and the primary industries sectors need for good decision-making around sustainable low emission ways of operating,” James Shaw said.

“While it’s pleasing to see that New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions have risen more slowly than general economic growth over the past 25 years, our emissions have still increased by 24 percent, and that demonstrates part of the challenge we face if we are to reach our net zero emissions target by 2050,” Mr Shaw said.

“And there are gaps in the data; in the area of waste, for instance, but officials are working with stakeholders to fill in those gaps for future environmental economic accounts,” he said.

The Environment Minister, David Parker, has also welcomed the release of the new system of accounting.

“It’s another way to integrate environmental accountability with the way the economy works,” Mr Parker said.

 

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