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Re-Inventing Realities

ISBN: 978-0-76231-154-5, eISBN: 978-1-84950-307-5

ISSN: 1041-7060

Publication date: 30 December 2004


Carbon dioxide emissions are considered to be one of the main culprits in global warming and the Kyoto Protocol specifically targets reductions in carbon dioxide to reduce global warming. Because the fossil burning electric utility plants are the primary industrial source of carbon dioxide emissions, we examine how effective the U.S. electric utility companies have been in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. We evaluate 1998 carbon dioxide emissions in relation to the emissions of the base year of 1990 set by the Kyoto Protocol. We also examine whether adequate disclosures are being made by the utilities to reflect their pollution performance. The findings show that the total amount of carbon dioxide emissions increased by 35% in 1998 compared to 1990, but on a relative basis, they decreased from 205 to 204lbs/MMBTU. Though we detect some support for a positive association between pollution disclosures and pollution emissions, the electric utilities in general do not disclose much about global warming or carbon dioxide.


Freedman, M. and Jaggi, B. (2004), "CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS AND DISCLOSURES BY ELECTRIC UTILITIES", Lehman, C., Tinker, T., Merino, B. and Neimark, M. (Ed.) Re-Inventing Realities (Advances in Public Interest Accounting, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 105-129.

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