Legal and Ethical Obligations of Oil Companies in Preserving Natural Environment; a Case Study of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Production Sharing Contracts”
Apart from having many obligations, oil companies have both legal and ethical obligations to protect natural environment in the country in which they operate. Every country has its own legislation to regulate aspects of oil companies’ operations in order not to destroy the natural surroundings of their operation area. Complying with these requirements has mutual interest for both the host country and the company as the latter can improve its reputation by taking steps toward preserving natural environment of the host country. Accordingly, there are many oil companies operating in Kurdistan Region of Iraq that should bear the same responsibilities. However, insufficient environmental legislations and the lack of enforcing the applicable laws have encouraged oil companies not to take necessary measures for both protection and providing remedies for any environmental destruction. The paper argues that the legal obligations to protect environment should be enforced in an appropriate way alongside with corporate social responsibilities toward the host country in terms of preserving natural environment and compensating all kinds of damages that cause natural environment.
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