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Transparency in Global Environmental GovernanceCritical Perspectives$
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Aarti Gupta and Michael Mason

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027410

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027410.001.0001

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The Political Economy of Governance by Disclosure: Carbon Disclosure and Nonfinancial Reporting as Contested Fields of Governance

The Political Economy of Governance by Disclosure: Carbon Disclosure and Nonfinancial Reporting as Contested Fields of Governance

Chapter:
(p.205) 9 The Political Economy of Governance by Disclosure: Carbon Disclosure and Nonfinancial Reporting as Contested Fields of Governance
Source:
Transparency in Global Environmental Governance
Author(s):

Knox-Hayes Janelle

Levy David

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262027410.003.0009

In this chapter, Janelle Knox-Hayes and David Levy analyse the role of multinational corporations in global environmental governance through the lens of corporate disclosure. They explore the premise that disclosure functions to reinforce the authority and legitimacy of corporations as increasingly important arbiters of (global environmental) governance. In assessing this claim, the authors document the rise of corporate non-financial sustainability reporting systems, including the Global Reporting Initiative and the Carbon Disclosure Project. The chapter argues that two competing institutional logics underpin the embrace and spread of non-financial disclosure: a logic of civil regulation, promoted by civil society actors and intended to secure greater corporate accountability, versus a functionalist corporate logic of sustainability management that highlights the instrumental benefits of disclosure to company managers, investors, and auditors. The chapter reveals how the growing ascendancy of a corporate instrumental logic shapes the quality and modalities of carbon and corporate sustainability disclosure.

Keywords:   corporate responsibility, carbon disclosure, Global Reporting Initiative, Non-financial reporting

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