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Journal Articles Ecological Economics Year : 2022

Taking Climate Change Seriously: Time to Credibly Communicate on Corporate Climate Performance

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Abstract

To address climate change, regulators have required companies to provide more information about their environmental impact such as their greenhouse gas emissions. However, reporting choices lacking comprehensiveness, corporate report users cannot assess how much companies contribute to limiting global warming. This research presents a new problematization of the multiple facets of this phenomenon and the subsequent communication requirements, drawn on the Luhmann's system theory. We position the issue successively in the scientific, political, and economic systems. Our analysis suggests that the economic system is unable to properly capture the messages from its environment and that it favors the outside-in perspective over the inside-out one, meaning that it focuses on the impact of its environment on itself and not the opposite. Therefore, any definition of corporate climate performance by the economic system will be limited because this system, like any other, is forced to understand its environment from its own perspective. We suggest that a new system, fully dedicated to sustainability, would be more appropriate to handle this concept and propose to consider corporate climate performance as an indicator reflecting how far a firm is from a targeted trajectory for keeping global warming below a threshold.
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hal-03779164 , version 1 (16-09-2022)

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Mickaele Le Ravalec, Alexandre Rambaud, Véronique Blum. Taking Climate Change Seriously: Time to Credibly Communicate on Corporate Climate Performance. Ecological Economics, 2022, 200, pp.107542. ⟨10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107542⟩. ⟨hal-03779164⟩
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