uniform system of environmental accounts. The 1993 SNA entailed developing environmental satellite accounts as a way of expanding the analytical capabilities of the national accounts without changing the core accounts. In this proposal, environmental accounts would complement rather than substitute for traditional accounts.
The principles and practices of environmental and natural-resource accounting are well developed. Countries are concerned about the interaction between the economy and the environment, particularly the extent of resource depletion and environmental degradation, as well as the economic costs of environmental protection. Other countries follow the U.S. practice of analyzing environmental linkages in satellite accounts, which provide useful data for both management and scorekeeping without changing the core NIPA.
Intensive work on the IEESA began in the United States in 1992. As envisioned by BEA, the work plan would have three phases: Phase I, which involved establishing the overall framework and developing prototype satellite accounts for subsoil assets such as petroleum, gas, and nonfuel minerals; Phase II, which would extend the accounts to renewable natural-resource assets, such as trees on timberland, fish stocks, and water resources; and Phase III, which would extend the effort to issues associated with a broader range of environmental assets, including the economic value of the degradation of clear air and water and the value of recreational assets such as lakes and national forests.