Crude Accounting for the Gulf of Mexico Inc.

By Dan Rubenstein on November 10, 2010

The need for consistent, decisive ecological accounting principles has been argued in professional circles for some time, but is perhaps never better illustrated than right now in aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon ecological catastrophe.

This need was brought home for tens of thousands of BP PLC investors when they lost close to $100 billion in share value almost overnight. Rubenstein proposes a new model that uses the dollar values for ecosystem services calculated by ecological economists and links this data to the traditional 500-year-old accounting model. Rubenstein proposes improved disclosure of ecological risks such as deep-water spills in securities filings and actually recording charges for the consumption of nature's carrying capacity in a company's Income Statement.

Report details

Measurement, Assessment, and Modelling
Sustainable Finance
North America
Focus area
IISD, 2010