Much effort has been put into harmonising environmental accounts across Europe, including links to other areas of statistics as well as harmonised concepts and compilation guidelines to improve comparability and timeliness.
More recently, the Beyond GDP initiative, aiming at the development of indicators as appealing as GDP but more inclusive of environmental and social aspects of human well-being and progress, has given a strong push for the development of environmental accounts as advocated in the EU Communication on GDP and Beyond published in 2009. Regulation (EU) 691/2011 on European environmental economic accounts is the legal response to such calls for development. It provides a legal framework for harmonised data collection as well as for future expansion with different modules when they become methodologically mature.
On 27 May 2014 a new Regulation (EU) No 538/2014 was published in the Official Journal of the EU amending Regulation (EU) No 691/2011 on European environmental economic accounts by adding three additional modules covering environmental protection expenditure accounts, environmental goods and services accounts and physical energy flow accounts.