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The natural environment as a salient stakeholder: non-anthropocentrism, ecosystem stability and the financial markets

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The current debate as to whether the natural environment should be accorded stakeholder status involves an assumption that it is in some way ‘different’ from other stakeholders, requiring favourable discriminatory treatment. Essentially it is regarded as passive, requiring regulatory agencies to represent its interests or the wider public to demand its protection on the occasion of, for example, oil spills that leave wildlife in a visibly distressed state. But the natural environment does not have ‘consciousness’ as do traditional classes of stakeholders such as employees, shareholders and contractors, nor does it negotiate in markets over the price at which it sells its output in the way that a trader haggles with potential buyers. This paper proposes that in the context of financial markets the natural environment possesses stakeholder status, founded upon the essentiality of ecosystem stability for their proper functioning and the structuring of instruments traded on them.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Lecturer, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, UK

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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