Environmental Protection Expenditure (EPE) is an internationally recognised term used to describe all goods and services aimed at protecting the environment and encouraging the sustainable use of natural resources.
EPE aids the analysis of the impacts of economic and social policy on the environment. In addition, it can be used to infer the economic response to environmental policies and regulations. It also enables the calculation of the contribution of the 'environment industry' towards gross domestic product.
In the context of environmental accounting, EPE has two core sub-accounts and a number of smaller components. Together these components paint a complete picture of the ‘environment industry’.
A full EPE account includes all expenditure, that is, both capital and operating expenditure, for all areas of the economy: public, private and households. For New Zealand, it is currently only possible to produce a provisional account covering expenditure by the public sector.