Corporate Social Responsibility: Using Climate Change to Illustrate the Intersection between Corporate Law and Environmental Law
Environmental and Planning Law Journal, August 2007
39 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2007
In 2006, an Australian Parliamentary inquiry and an inquiry from the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee both investigated whether corporate law in Australia needed to be changed in order to encourage socially and environmentally responsible business practices and whether the scope of director's duties should be widened to take into account the interests of stakeholders and the wider community. The results of these enquiries - a "business as usual" approach, highlights the gap between the traditional corporate law view of short term shareholders' interests and the longer term view posited by environmental law. This paper argues that in order to achieve better corporate responsibility, there needs to be a focus on the intersections rather than the gaps between these two disciplines of law. Drawing on various sources, such as the author's earlier research on Norwegian companies and the opportunities and risks associated with climate change, the paper discusses some of these intersections and suggests the incentives that may help to move companies towards more positive environmental outcomes.
Keywords: climate change, environment, law, corporate, corporate governance, director's duties, corporate social responsibility, CSR
JEL Classification: G38, K22, K32, N77, Q28, Q48
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