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Climate change accounting research: keeping it interesting and different

Markus J. Milne (College of Business and Economics, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)
Suzana Grubnic (Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 25 October 2011




This paper aims to set out several of the key issues and areas of the inter‐disciplinary field of climate change research based in accounting and accountability, and to introduce the papers that compose this AAAJ special issue.


The paper provides an overview of issues in the science of climate, as well as an eclectic collection of independent and inter‐disciplinary contributions to accounting for climate change. Through additional accounting analysis, and a shadow carbon account, it also illustrates how organisations and nations account for and communicate their greenhouse gas (GHG) footprints and emissions behaviour.


The research shows that accounting for carbon and other GHG emissions is immensely challenging because of uncertainties in estimation methods. The research also shows the enormity of the challenge associated with reducing those emissions in the near future.


The paper surveys past work on a wide variety of perspectives associated with climate change science, politics and policy, as well as organisational and national emissions and accounting behaviour. It provides an overview of challenges in the area, and seeks to set an agenda for future research that remains interesting and different.



Milne, M.J. and Grubnic, S. (2011), "Climate change accounting research: keeping it interesting and different", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 24 No. 8, pp. 948-977.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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