IFRS and Environmental Accounting

Minga Negash

Metropolitan State University of Denver; University of the Witwatersrand

December 1, 2009

This paper examines whether International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) can be used for monitoring environmental degradations. The paper critically examines the contemporary environmental accounting literature, and attempts to find a mandatory reporting mechanism in the contexts of accounting for a public good and REA (resource, event, action) accounting of McCarthy (1982). It selects the relevant financial reporting standards and examines their strengths and weaknesses. Using qualitative and case study research method, the financial statements of three global mining companies that are operating in an environmentally sensitive sector were studied. The study finds that the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) guidelines and private sector self-regulation are insufficient to monitor environmental disclosure. The paper proposes a mandated separate statement of environmental assets and liabilities. The elements of the proposed statement are discussed.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

Keywords: IFRS, GRI, environmental accounting, sustainability reports, mining companies, environmental assets and liabilities, Africa

JEL Classification: M41, M42, M48, Q56, Q51 Q20 N27, D53, D63

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Date posted: December 4, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Negash, Minga, IFRS and Environmental Accounting (December 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1516837 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1516837

Contact Information

Minga Negash (Contact Author)
Metropolitan State University of Denver ( email )
Denver, CO 80217
United States
University of the Witwatersrand
1 Jan Smuts Avenue
Johannesburg, Gauteng 2000
South Africa
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