SYNOPSIS: Worldwide public concern over climate change and the need to limit greenhouse gas (hereafter, GHG) emissions has increasingly motivated public officials to consider more stringent environmental regulation and standards. The authors argue that the development of a new international assurance standard on GHG disclosures is an appropriate response by the auditing and assurance profession to meet these challenges. At its December 2007 meeting, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (hereafter, IAASB) approved a project to consider the development of such a standard aimed at promoting trust and confidence in disclosures of GHG emissions, including disclosures required under emissions trading schemes. The authors assess the types of disclosures that can be assured, and outline the issues involved in developing an international assurance standard on GHG emissions disclosures. The discussion synthesizes the insights gained from four international roundtables on the proposed IAASB assurance standard held in Asia-Pacific, North America, and Europe during 2008, and an IAASB meeting addressing this topic in December 2008.

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