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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
1st call for papers Climate Change, Greenhouse Gas Accounting, Auditing & Accountability
Article Type: Call for papers From: Pacific Accounting Review, Volume 21, Issue 1
Special Issue of Issues in Financial Accounting and Reporting: A Pacific Rim Focus
Guest editors:Amanda Ball and Markus J. Milne, College of Business and Economics, University of Canterbury, Canterbury, New Zealand, Suzana Grubnic, Nottingham University Business School, Nottingham, UK
Climate change now occupies centre-stage politically in many countries. The scientific consensus is that climate warming is “very likely” due to the excessive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of industrial activity. International policy goals to avert run away climate change include suggested targets for stabilising atmospheric GHG concentration with emission cuts of 80-90 per cent by 2050. Most countries are committed to modest reductions in GHG emissions under the Kyoto protocol. In tandem with a major international policy focus on carbon pricing and trading, predominant climate change strategies for governments, businesses and individuals across industrialised societies include carbon-neutrality, energy and energy conservation strategies, and emissions trading schemes. An international voluntary carbon offset market has burgeoned in response to businesses and individuals purchasing carbon credits to go carbon-neutral. Accounting, technical and ethical critiques, however, are appearing about the efficacy of these practices; emerging codes of conduct and voluntary standards are creating potential confusion; and scaling up offsetting to the levels required is questioned.
Despite burgeoning practice, there is a dearth of academic debate about organisational climate change strategies, and particularly in regard to organisational motives, commitments, actions and accountabilities, and the role carbon accounting and auditing plays in these. There is a complete absence of “carbon accounting” studies in the social and environmental accounting literature. To date, there are a small number of relevant studies in the organisations literature, with early research noting active political resistance and climate change denial. Businesses are now engaging in various programmes, with measures, targets and market trading, spawning business interest in strategy, opportunities and “how-to” guides. So far, however, little work has attempted to understand the actual dynamics of organisational emissions reduction programmes, key motives that drive or inhibit action, or critically scrutinize obvious tensions and paradoxical motives between organisational desires to reduce ecological impacts and desires to grow and succeed economically. Despite the growing tide of corporate activity on climate change no meaningful progress is being made on global GHG emissions reduction, suggesting relatively weak policy regimes and “business-as-usual”. This special issue seeks a range of papers from a variety of social science disciplines that address these shortcomings.