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A Flawed Prospectus?

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image of Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law

The purpose of this article is to assess the adequacy of disclosure requirements for environmental information. Beginning with listing rules and market disclosures, it then analyses disclosure from the viewpoint of accountancy standards, corporate governance and requirements for pension fund trustees, and finally, voluntary standards of disclosure and de facto or ad hoc disclosures occurring in different sectors of industry. It is argued that it is beyond doubt that environmental information is an important source of financial information. As such, it should be disclosed in a uniform manner and on a regular basis because of its potential impact on investment decision-making, company value and the viability and profitability of businesses. It follows that there should be an end to the uncertainty concerning the question of the "materiality" of environmental information, its disclosure and an acceptance of the need to disclose it. The failure to require specific disclosure of environmental information, and the general failure by corporations to accept the materiality of environmental information in light of other legislative developments in the field of investor protection, is viewed as a major weakness. Providing such important information to investors ought to be an obligation on listed companies. To overcome this significant weakness, specific and if possible, uniform disclosure rules for environmental information must be adopted generally.

Affiliations: 1: LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, LLP.


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