First reported in this format last year (ENDS Daily 30 August 1999), the "satellite" environmental accounts follow a format developed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and are aimed at progressively integrating environmental data into the national accounting process.
The statistics show a 13% fall in energy intensity for the UK economy from 1991 to 1998, because while energy consumption rose by 4%, gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 20%. The proportion of energy derived from fossil fuels fell from 92% to 90% during the same period.
Emissions of key air pollutants continued to fall in most sectors, with overall greenhouse gas and acid rain precursor emissions down by 7% and 40% respectively over the period. Total greenhouse gas emissions fell by 6.7%, but rose marginally between 1997 and 1998. Transport was the main sector to buck the downward trend, with greenhouse gas emissions from road transport rising 9% from 1991 to 1998.
The statistics show a continued increase in the level of environmental taxation in the UK. These rose by 47% in real terms from 1991 to 1999 to 3.7% of GDP, 0.1 percentage points above the 1997 figure reported in last year's accounts.
Other sections of the environmental accounts offer estimates of remaining recoverable oil and gas reserves, detailed sector-by-sector trends in material imports and exports and environmental protection expenditure in 1997 by various industries as first reported last November (ENDS Daily 8 November 1999).
UK statistical office, tel: +44 20 75 33 57 14. See also information on UK environmental accounting and 2000 UK environmental accounts.
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