The European Parliament's environment committee adopted on Tuesday (9 November) its response to a Commission proposal on the matter.
Lawmakers agree that member states should collect more data in order to enable accurate assessment and further development of European environmental policies.
The European Commission is proposing to draw up EU green economic accounts for air emissions, environmental taxes and macro-economic material flows, including agricultural crops, metal ores, minerals and fossil energy.
But MEPs want to see additional account modules created on water, waste, biodiversity, forests, energy, environmental subsidies and environmental protection expenditure, for example.
These additional modules are already under development and member states should therefore already be given notice about what further data will be requested in the future, MEPs said.
Parliamentarians also believe that establishing such accounts can help improve assessment of the environmental impact of economic activity.
However, as there is no precedent for legally-binding environmental economic accounting standards at European level, the committee believes it is important to assess the reliability and comparability of the data first to ensure a high standard of EU green accounting.
Towards a 'Gross Ecological Product'
The proposal to create European environmental accounts contributes to a wider debate on developing new environmental and social indicators to measure the real prosperity and wellbeing of nations beyond traditional GDP.
The Commission published a communication on the matter in 2009 and said that the idea is "to take stock of natural resources and human and social capital, rather than just the use of these resources," as well as focusing on "the role of eco-systems in providing welfare".
German MEP Jo Leinen (Socialists & Democrats), rapporteur on the environment committee's response to the EU green accounts proposal, said that "after the publication of the Gross National Income (GNI), the 27 EU member states will, from 2012, also assess their Gross Ecological Product".
"We need to make the invisible visible and ensure economic activities take proper account of environmental consequences," he said.