Working paper - How to re-conceptualise and re-integrate climate finance into society through ecological accounting?

Wednesday 2 December 2020

Authors: Alexandre Rambaud, AgroParisTech-CIRED, Université Paris-Dauphine & Chaire Comptabilité Écologique
Hugues Chenet, Chaire Énergie et Prospérité and University College London

Date: October 2020

Abstract: In this paper, we argue that current finance, and the prevailing fair value accounting system, is disconnected from companies and from strong sustainability requirements, making it difficult to develop a climate finance system that is operational and aligned with the challenges of climate preservation. Based on this observation, we propose an exploratory and theoretical study which introduces how and why a particular and innovative ecological accounting approach, the CARE model, currently called upon by a growing number of practitioners and researchers, is a relevant framework to re-conceptualise the issue of climate finance. From a theoretical point of view, CARE offers a suitable language for structuring the issues of ecological costs, debts and conservation and associated financing. From a practical point of view, it offers a methodological support that can be used to address these issues, from an accounting and management point of view as well as from an investor’s point of view, ensuring compliance with the Paris Agreements 2°C goal in particular.

Keywords: Climate finance, natural capital, historical cost accounting, corporate finance, ecological accounting

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