Date of Conferral
Unaccountable corporate polluters profit short term at the expense of global economic sustainability. The purpose of the study was to determine if carbon dioxide (CO2) penalties on the airline emissions would result in financial statement disclosure and emission mitigation. Contributing to environmental accounting, the study was based in corporate social responsibility with a conceptual framework based on economically-centered CO2 studies. A random sample of 69 global airlines, taken from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) memberships, was stratified between EU bound and non-EU bound airlines. The research questions explored (a) the frequency mean differences in disclosed CO2 costs between the strata based upon the European Union's environmental trading scheme (EU-ETS) and (b) whether international financial reporting standards (IFRS) influenced the financial statement reporting of CO2 emissions costs. Financial statement data were analyzed in a 3-year longitudinal, ex-post, quasi-experimental, repeated measures factorial ANOVA and ANCOVA, pretest-posttest control group design. The results showed significant CO2 disclosure differences between the experimental (EU bound) airlines and control group (non-EU) airlines and for those airlines with IFRS prepared statements. These results should convince accounting practitioners that the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas pollution can become the catalyst for improved operations and commercial sustainability. Positive social change to mitigate anthropogenic pollution should result and should promote normative accounting practice to hold those responsible to a higher global accountability.