The Environmental Accounts (EA) are a synthesis statistical operation with the general objective of integrating environmental information in the central system of Spanish National Accounts, following the methodology of the United Nations' System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), which constitutes the conceptual framework of the EA.
They include a group of satellite accounts compiled using accounting formats that are applicable to different sectorial and territorial scopes, with a great amount of physical data. Spanish National Accounts allow expanding the analysis of similar concepts, classifications and regulations without overloading the central system.
It is an essential tool for the analysis of the interrelation between the environment and the economy in general, and specifically, for the assessment of sustainable development through the design and construction of Sustainable Development Indicators, as well as monitoring political actions in terms of national and international environment.
The Environmental Tax Account presents the breakdown of those taxes whose tax base consists of a physical unit (or the like) of some material that has a proven and specific negative impact on the environment, by industry and households as final consumers sector.
The activities and sectors classifications that are used are coherent with the European System of Accounts (ESA)
Producers: The economic activities are classified according to the A*64 classification collected in the Commission Regulation (EU) No. 715/2010, of 10 August 2010. The A*64 classification is the result of aggregating the divisions in NACE Rev. 2, which corresponds to CNAE2009 in the case of Spain.
Final consumers: Resident and non-resident households.
Type of Environmental Taxes:
Environmental Taxes have the same system limits as the European System of Accounts (ESA). It consists in compulsory payments with no balancing entries, in cash or in kind, collected by the Public Administrations or institutions of the European Union.
ESA: European System of Accounts:
Environmental Taxes are identified in the following ESA categories:
– Production and import taxes (D.2)
– current income taxes, wealth taxes, etc. (D.5)
As they are satellite accounts, the same units as in the Spanish National Accounts are used, that is, the units collected in the European System of Accounts (ESA).
For further information consult ESA:
Environmental Accounts combine data from several different statistical sources. The concept of statistical population cannot be strictly applied in this context.
Environmental Accounts cover the entire national territory.
Environmental Taxes shall be coherent with the Spanish National Accounts. Spanish National Accounts define the national economy as the set of activities and transactions of the resident economic agents that focus on the economic national territory. Some transactions of these units are carried out outside of the national economic territory and other transactions within this territory are carried out by non-resident units. Therefore, it is necessary to apply the residence principle in Environmental Taxes as well as in the Spanish National Accounts.
Environmental Taxes are compiled annually.
The length of the Environmental Taxes series depends on the reference base used:
The current account base includes information of the period 2008-2018 and 2019 early estimations.
Environmental Accounts shall be updated periodically so as to incorporate the appropriate methodological and statistical changes, specially, base changes of the economic accounts.
Base: The results correspond to the 2019 Benchmark Revision (ESA 2010), being in line with National Accounts data.
The accounting period is the natural year.
Data referred to the period: Anual A: 2018
The compilation and dissemination of the data are governed by the Statistical Law No. 12/1989 "Public Statistical Function" of May 9, 1989, and Law No. 4/1990 of June 29 on “National Budget of State for the year 1990" amended by Law No. 13/1996 "Fiscal, administrative and social measures" of December 30, 1996, makes compulsory all statistics included in the National Statistics Plan. The National Statistical Plan 2009-2012 was approved by the Royal Decree 1663/2008. It contains the statistics that must be developed in the four year period by the State General Administration's services or any other entity dependent on it. All statistics included in the National Statistics Plan are statistics for state purposes and are obligatory. The National Statistics Plan 2017-2020, approved by Royal Decree 410/2016, of 31 October, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2017-2020. (Statistics of the State Administration).
European Parliament and Council Regulation (EU) No. 691/2011, of 6 July 2011, regarding the European economic environmental accounts, constitutes the reference framework of common accounting concepts, definitions, classifications and norms intended for the compilation of Environmental Accounts.
This regulation is available in:
The first reference year in which results are transmitted is the year in which the mentioned Regulation enters into force, 2011, with a first transmission which includes the data of the series from 2008 and in a period of 21 months since the reference year finishes.
In each subsequent transmission of data to the Comission, the Member States will provide annual data for years n-4, n-3, n-2, n-1 and n, n being the reference year.
Environmental Accounts is a statistical operation included in the National Statistics Plan, therefore subject to the Law on the Public Statistical Function of 9 May 1989, hence its data is protected by Statistical Secrecy in all stages of its compilation
The data is disseminated annually.
Environmental Accounts users may access the data regarding Environmental Taxes Accounts via the INE website
Specifically, Environmental Taxes appear in the following sections:
- Latest data
- Press release
- Detailed results, include the complete set of results of the different available accounting series.
Results of the pilot studies carried out, prior to the entering into force of Regulation 691/2011 regarding Environmental economic accounts
INEbase is the system the INE uses to store statistical information on the Internet. It contains all the information the INE produces in electronic formats. The primary organisation of the information follows the theme-based classification of the Inventory of Statistical Operations of the State General Administration . The basic unit of INEbase is the statistical operation, defined as the set of activities that lead to obtaining statistical results on a determined sector or subject based on the individually collected data. Also included in the scope of this definition are synthesis preparation.
Access to tables and results in INEBASE (www.ine.es) / Agriculture and environment/Environmental accounts/
Due to the nature of Environmental Accounts, there is no microdata available
The policy of the customised request service is to analyse if the statistical secrecy and significativity conditions are met. After this analysis, a viability report is compiled and sent to the petitioner.
The requests will be carried out via the User information area:
"Environmental taxes - A statistical guide, 2013", developed by Eurostat, may be consulted in their website in the following link:
Fields 10.6 to 17 of this document are the quality report intended for the user of this transaction.
Quality assurance framework for the INE statistics is based on the ESSCoP, the European Statistics Code of Practice made by EUROSTAT. The ESSCoP is made up of 16 principles, gathered in three areas: Institutional Environment, Processes and Products. Each principle is associated with some indicators which make possible to measure it. In order to evaluate quality, EUROSTAT provides different tools: the indicators mentioned above, Self-assessment based on the DESAP model, peer review, user satisfaction surveys and other proceedings for evaluation.
The quality of synthesis statistics such as Environmental Accounts, is firstly derived from the multiple sources they use. In all of them it has been intended to obtain information that is as accurate as possible, minimising the different types of errors they may be affected by. Moreover, the decisions of the corresponding regulations are followed when compiling this data.
The Commission (Eurostat) will assess the quality of the transmitted data and within a month after it is received may request additional information from the Member State regarding the data revised, as appropriate (Article 7.4 of European Regulation No. 691/2011) .
Environmental Accounts allow observing the pressure the economy puts on the environment and studies how to reduce it. They show interactions among the economy, households and environmental factors, and therefore offer more information than the Spanish National Accounts in this field.
As an essential source of environmental data, they are basic for environmental politics decision-making and the development of impact assessment at a national and international level. According to the Sustainable Development principles included in the Europe 2020 Strategy and other initiatives, as well as the advance towards a low-emissions economy that is efficient in the use of resources, it is becoming more and more necessary to develop and implement a data framework structure that systematically includes the environmental and economic data.
Moreover, since they constitute a synthesis statistical operation in the environmental field, they allow identifying gaps and improvements in the Spanish statistical system.
Among the Environmental Accounts users are:
• Ministries and other public institutions
• Territorial Administrations (Autonomous Communities)
• Researchers and Academic institutions
• Non-profit companies and institutions (Company research services, foundations, associations, etc.), trade unions and employers' organisations.
• Press and specialised media
Similarly, there are foreign institutional users (Eurostat, OECD, United Nations, etc.)
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 and it plans to continue doing so every three years. The purpose of these surveys is to find out what users think about the quality of the information of the INE statistics and the extent to which their needs of information are covered. In addition, additional surveys are carried out in order to acknowledge better other fields such as dissemination of the information, quality of some publications...
On the INE website, in its section Methods and Projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys are available surveys conducted to date.(Click next link)
In the User Satisfaction Surveys carried out to date, the Environment sector in which the statistical operation is encompassed is assessed, which can guide as to what the users' opinion about it is.
In the next website of INE: Methods and projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys (https://www.ine.es/ss/Satellite?c=Page&pagename=MetodologiaYEstandares%2FINELayout&cid=1259944133654&L=1)
it is possible consult the last available user surveys
Environmental Taxes meet the information requirements demanded by the European Parliament and Council Regulation (EU) No. 691/2011, of 6 July 2011, regarding European Environmental Economic Accounts, therefore they are exhaustive.
The rate of compulsory statistical results that are available is of 100% (R1 = 100%)
Environmental Accounts are synthesis statistics, therefore they are affected by sampling errors coming from sources from which information is collected, which are analysed in order to see if they remain within reasonable limits. Non-sampling errors may come from the sources or from the information treatment of this operation (lack of coverage, measurement errors). In summary, direct measurement of accuracy in this case is not applicable.
Environmental Accounts are synthesis statistics, therefore they are affected by sampling errors coming from sources from which information is collected, which are analysed in order to see if they remain within reasonable limits.
Environmental Accounts are synthesis statistics, therefore non-sampling errors may come from the sources or from the information treatment of this operation (lack of coverage, measurement errors).
The main instrument for analysing the accuracy is the analysis of the revisions. The revisions show the degree of proximity between subsequent estimators of the same value, and it is reasonable to assume that the estimators converge on the true value when they are based on better and more reliable data.
Environmental Tax estimates are sent to EUROSTAT within 21 months after the reference year finishes, in compliance with the European Regulation 691/2011 regarding European Environmental Economic Accounts, in which data transmission periods are regulated.
The indicator of the time elapsed between the end of the reference period and dissemination in INEBase is TP1=10 months y TP2 = 46 months.
The Environmental Accounts results are published following the INE Structural Statistics Availability Calendar. TP3 = 100%
The EU Member States use the same methodology for the compilation of estimates, which allows comparability among Environmental Tax estimates.
The basic methodology for the compilation of the estimates has not changed since the first estimates of Environmental Taxes as a pilot study, although new accounting serie is coherent with Benchmark Revision (ESA 2010) of National Accounts data.
Therefore, the number of comparable elements of the time series since its last break is 12 (CC2 =12)
Environmental Accounts are coherent with Spanish National Accounts.
The annual results of Environmental Taxes are coherent with each other and with the available annual series
In the 2020 annual Program, the estimate of the necessary budget appropriation to finance this Environmental Accounts transaction is 18,5 thousand euros.
There is no response burden for informants, since the information provided by other statistics is used.
The INE of Spain has a policy which regulates the basic aspects of statistical data revision, seeking to ensure process transparency and product quality. This policy is laid out in the document approved by the INE board of directors on 13 March of 2015, which is available on the INE website, in the section "Methods and projects/Quality and Code of Practice/INE’s Quality management/INE’s Revision policy" (link).
This general policy sets the criteria that the different type of revisions should follow: routine revision- it is the case of statistics whose production process includes regular revisions-; more extensive revision- when methodological or basic reference source changes take place-; and exceptional revision- for instance, when an error appears in a published statistic-.
Environmental Accounts data is revised coherently with the data revision scheme of the Annual Spanish National Accounts.
Regulation (EU) 691/2011 establishes that in each annual data transmission, the data for years n-4, n-3, n-2, n-1 and n is provided, n being the reference year.
The factors that determine the revisions of Environmental Accounts estimates are basically the changes in Annual Spanish National Accounts as well as the changes carried out so as to improve estimation procedures.
The first time that the data of a reference year t are published, in t+10 months, the data from the account are early estimates, becoming provisional in successive years until the final data are published three years and 10 months (t+46) following the end of the corresponding reference year..
The practical way to proceed consists in publishing the data, indicating its final or provisional nature. Each annual estimate is revised during four consecutive years until it is no longer considered provisional and acquires a final nature.
The A6-RMAR indicator for total environmental taxes is 0,04.
Since Environmental Accounts are synthesis statistics, they integrate and reconcile a great amount of economic and environmental information sources.
The following information is used for Environmental Taxes:
- Statistics of the National Statistics Institute:
The data is collected annually.
Data collection techniques may vary depending on the type of source, the date in which the data is available, etc.
Generally, the data is sent to the Environmental Accounts Unit by the different units that compile them. However the information can sometimes be obtained directly via the corresponding database.
The base information coming from different statistics undergoes a set of treatments: Outlier identification, error filtering, adjustment to Environmental Accounts stipulations.
The compilation process may be structured in several stages:
1. Updating of base information: collection of available data
2. Treatment of base information: it undergoes a series of treatments, consisting of outlier identification, error filtering and adjustment to Environmental Accounts stipulations.
3. Breakdown of the data by industry and household sector as final consumers: in order to achieve a more accurate estimate, the highest possible breakdown level of the different identifiable tax components is used.
4. Estimate analysis and revision process: the result time series are analysed for each type of tax in order to detect possible errors.
5. Preparation of the final result files with the different required formats: sending format to EUROSTAT, and files for dissemination in INEBase (Results, Methodology, Press release)
No seasonal adjustments are carried out.