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Toward a different debate in environmental accounting: The cases of carbon and cost-benefit

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  • Lohmann, Larry

Abstract

Many champions of environmental accounting suggest that calculating and internalizing 'externalities' is the solution to environmental problems. Many critics of neoliberalism counter that the spread of market-like calculations into 'non-market' spheres, is, on the contrary, itself at the root of such problems. This article proposes setting aside this debate and instead closely examining the concrete conflicts, contradictions and resistances engendered by environmental accounting techniques and the perpetually incomplete efforts of accountants and their allies to overcome them. In particular, it explores how cost-benefit analysis and the carbon accounting techniques required by the Kyoto Protocol, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme and other carbon trading mechanisms 'frame' new agents, spaces, relations and objects, and what the consequences have been and are likely to be.

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  • Lohmann, Larry, 2009. "Toward a different debate in environmental accounting: The cases of carbon and cost-benefit," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 499-534, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:34:y:2009:i:3-4:p:499-534
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    Cited by:

    1. Song, Malin & Zhang, Jie & Wang, Shuhong, 2015. "Review of the network environmental efficiencies of listed petroleum enterprises in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 65-71.
    2. Finch, John & Geiger, Susi & Reid, Emma, 2017. "Captured by technology? How material agency sustains interaction between regulators and industry actors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 160-170.
    3. Spence, Laura J. & Rinaldi, Leonardo, 2014. "Governmentality in accounting and accountability: A case study of embedding sustainability in a supply chain," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 433-452.
    4. Bebbington, Jan & Larrinaga, Carlos, 2014. "Accounting and sustainable development: An exploration," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 395-413.
    5. Gray, Rob, 2010. "Is accounting for sustainability actually accounting for sustainability...and how would we know? An exploration of narratives of organisations and the planet," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 47-62, January.

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