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Corporate Accountability in International Environmental Law$
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Elisa Morgera

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558018

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558018.001.0001

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History and Definitions

History and Definitions

(p.11) 2 History and Definitions
Corporate Accountability in International Environmental Law

Elisa Morgera

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the basic concepts and background references for the study. It illustrates the increasing attention of the international community at major global conferences to corporate environmental accountability and responsibility. Corporate accountability is initially circumscribed to the answerability of private companies to public expectations based on international environmental standards. This are the reasonable means to ensure the transparency and openness to all stakeholders of private companies' operations and decision-making, and to means to encourage the prevention of environmental harm or even a proactive contribution to the attainment of sustainable development by private companies. Corporate accountability is then differentiated from the idea of corporate responsibility, which focuses more on obligations or at least on result-oriented expectations for the conduct of the private sector and which seems still much more controversial at the intergovernmental level.

Keywords:   corporate accountability, liability, corporate responsibility, sustainable development, global environmental conferences

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