Combining Environmental and Spatial Discount Rates for Valuation of Assets According to International Financial Reporting Standards

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Application of discount rate in finance and accounting is founded on the concept of time value of money. Discounted cash flow model is widely used for asset valuation under the International Financial Reporting Standards (in abbreviation, IFRS). The discount rate applied in valuation models normally is the best rate of return that investors would earn alternative investments. With emergence of ecological economics as a separate branch of economics, the concept of ecological (or in other words, environmental discount rate) has been elaborated. Muller (2013) in his paper ‘The Discounting Confusion: an Ecological Economics Perspective’, argues that traditional discounting can undermine long-term sustainability of the economy. In his work, Frank G. Muller considered adjusting the traditional discount rate in order to arrive at an environmental discount rate, which would help to ensure the sustainability of the economy. Hannon (2001) and Perrings (2001) in their paper ‘An Introduction to Spatial Discounting’ consider another variation of the discount rate - spatial discount rate. Spatial discount rate represents the rate at which the diffusion of environmental effects of economic activities is discounted over space. By February 2016, neither the application of environmental nor spatial discount rates under IFRS has been considered. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the implications that environmental and spatial discounting would have for the application of discounted cash flow model according to IFRS. The research methods applied are methods of economic analysis and synthesis.

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