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Carbon Trading: Accounting and Reporting Issues

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  • Jan Bebbington
  • Carlos Larrinaga-Gonzalez

Abstract

The impetus for this special debating forum arises from the concern about the impact of anthropogenic induced global climate change (GCC) and the assumption that GCC raises issues of significance with respect to the accountability of firms to stakeholders for financial and non-financial performance. Governments and supra-national bodies have sought to respond to GCC in a variety of ways, with the creation of markets in which carbon may be traded being just one manifestation. Carbon markets have the effect of putting a price on what was until very recently free and this change is likely to have financial consequences for firms in the longer term. In order to place the accounting implications of carbon markets in context, the paper provides a scientific and policy introduction to GCC. As regards accounting issues, the paper reviews the problems that are associated with the valuation of pollution allowances and their identification as assets (and the liabilities that arise if companies pollute beyond allowed levels). A closer inspection of the risks and uncertainties that arise from GCC initiates a discussion of non-financial accounting and reporting about carbon. Non-financial reporting is necessary to allow conditions for democratic accountability in an uncertain setting.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal European Accounting Review.

Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 697-717

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Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:17:y:2008:i:4:p:697-717

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Cited by:
  1. Janine Hogan & Sumit Lodhia, 2011. "Sustainability reporting and reputation risk management: an Australian case study," International Journal of Accounting and Information Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(3), pages 267-287, September.
  2. Roger L. Burritt & Stefan Schaltegger, 2010. "Sustainability accounting and reporting: fad or trend?," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 23(7), pages 829-846, September.
  3. Talbot, David & Boiral, Olivier, 2013. "Can we trust corporates GHG inventories? An investigation among Canada's large final emitters," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 1075-1085.
  4. Markus J. Milne & Suzana Grubnic, 2011. "Climate change accounting research: keeping it interesting and different," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(8), pages 948-977, October.
  5. Apergis, Nicholas & Eleftheriou, Sofia & Payne, James E., 2013. "The relationship between international financial reporting standards, carbon emissions, and R&D expenditures: Evidence from European manufacturing firms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 57-66.
  6. Hopwood, Anthony G., 2009. "Accounting and the environment," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 433-439, April.
  7. Charles Cho & Martin Martens & Hakkyun Kim & Michelle Rodrigue, 2011. "Astroturfing Global Warming: It Isn’t Always Greener on the Other Side of the Fence," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 104(4), pages 571-587, December.

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