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Sustainability ; 14(16):9988, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2024124


While the development of globally accepted sustainability reporting standards initiated by the IFRS Foundation has largely engaged stakeholders in developed economies, the stakes for developing economies could be compromised without an explicit consideration of their sustainability issues within this standard-setting framework. This paper examines the need to develop global sustainability reporting standards based on the principle of double materiality to warrant that both the target towards carbon net-zero by 2050 under the Paris Agreement and the subsequent promise to accelerate under COP26 are achieved with efficacy. Adopting a multiple-case study approach, this paper reveals the limitations of existing sustainability reporting in the absence of double materiality in a developing economy. Specifically, the analyses reveal limited climate-related disclosures among selected cases in Ghana. Available disclosures connote increasing GHG emissions over the period under consideration. This study also shows weak disclosure comparability across the companies following similar reporting standards. Overall, it argues that enforcement of double materiality to embrace sustainability issues impacting both developed and developing economies is necessary for an effective transformation towards a low-carbon global economy. It contributes to the existing body of knowledge by elucidating double materiality as a pertinent interdisciplinary concept and devising a holistic framework for the emerging global sustainability reporting system to underscore governance accountability for external costs to the environment. Global sustainability reporting standards with a myopic focus on conventional financial matters in the absence of double materiality remain a disclosure system with implausible impact on climate change.