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Greenhouse gas accounting: global problem, national policy, local fugitives

Greenhouse gas accounting: global problem, national policy, local fugitives Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to raise a selection of issues and questions that have begun to face academics and business professionals in the technically complex field of greenhouse gas accounting. Design/methodology/approach – This paper drew on accounting, audit and assurance‐based field work whilst the author was employed with a “Big 4” accounting firm and undertaken with a range of Australian companies preparing to report greenhouse gas emissions to the Australian Government for the first time during June‐October 2009. The issues discussed in this paper include: determination of organisational boundaries and ownership of greenhouse emissions; determination of operational boundaries and how to account for the greenhouse emissions of contractors; and challenges of measuring and accounting for greenhouse gas emissions in the underground coal mining industry. Findings – This paper highlights the need for further research into greenhouse gas accounting methodologies. Research limitations/implications – The paper is primarily a news piece with a focus on three of a possible multitude of issues. The intention is not to provide a complete review of the growing academic literature in the greenhouse gas accounting field, nor to elaborate on the entire array of challenges presented by greenhouse gas accounting for a range of industries. Further, the paper does not intend to discuss climate change science or emissions trading in any detail. Originality/value – Whilst the focus is on the Australian experience, the questions raised may be of interest to a more international audience as attempts are made to put a national framework using local measures on a global problem are commonplace. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Emerald Publishing

Greenhouse gas accounting: global problem, national policy, local fugitives

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2040-8021
DOI
10.1108/20408021011059269
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to raise a selection of issues and questions that have begun to face academics and business professionals in the technically complex field of greenhouse gas accounting. Design/methodology/approach – This paper drew on accounting, audit and assurance‐based field work whilst the author was employed with a “Big 4” accounting firm and undertaken with a range of Australian companies preparing to report greenhouse gas emissions to the Australian Government for the first time during June‐October 2009. The issues discussed in this paper include: determination of organisational boundaries and ownership of greenhouse emissions; determination of operational boundaries and how to account for the greenhouse emissions of contractors; and challenges of measuring and accounting for greenhouse gas emissions in the underground coal mining industry. Findings – This paper highlights the need for further research into greenhouse gas accounting methodologies. Research limitations/implications – The paper is primarily a news piece with a focus on three of a possible multitude of issues. The intention is not to provide a complete review of the growing academic literature in the greenhouse gas accounting field, nor to elaborate on the entire array of challenges presented by greenhouse gas accounting for a range of industries. Further, the paper does not intend to discuss climate change science or emissions trading in any detail. Originality/value – Whilst the focus is on the Australian experience, the questions raised may be of interest to a more international audience as attempts are made to put a national framework using local measures on a global problem are commonplace.

Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 3, 2010

Keywords: Global warming; Environmental regulations; Environmental management; Accounting; Australia

References