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 AS  Vol.8 No.3 , March 2017
Agriculture, Profitability and Climate Change: Can Accounting Help Identify Best Farming Practices? Empirical Case Study in Spain
Abstract:
We perform an empirical analysis on the benefits of, and the challenges faced by, sustainability accounting in measuring the effects of climate change for a sample of Spanish rice farms. We use farm yields, revenues and incomes as indicators of economic performance, and greenhouse gas emissions, and direct and indirect energy consumption as indicators of climate change effects. According to our data, farms with higher yields, revenues and income are responsible for a greater environmental impact, measured in total gigajoules of energy consumed and tons of carbon dioxide emitted, than farms with a lower economic performance. Results show that in our sample the achievement of higher yields is attributable to the greater use of chemical inputs and fossil fuels and not to innovative and sustainable farming practices. The results indicate that accounting for climate change effects is not only possible but also necessary to provide more accurate information on the overall costs and benefits of farming. Greater transparency in accounting information should serve to highlight which farming activities are better able to reduce climate change impacts.
Cite this paper: Antonini, C. and Argilés-Bosch, J. (2017) Agriculture, Profitability and Climate Change: Can Accounting Help Identify Best Farming Practices? Empirical Case Study in Spain. Agricultural Sciences, 8, 209-226. doi: 10.4236/as.2017.83015.
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